Many months ago, before the dreaded Covid-19 reared its ugly head, I was approached to consider becoming President of SATIPS. Having been a career-long supporter of this great organization, it took very little to persuade me to attempt to fill this honourable role. Why? Because I have always believed that its great strength is that it is run by teachers for teachers which makes it a genuine grassroots facility and can and does make it totally relevant to all teachers and all pupils. So why a letter from me now? Well, with all the restrictions in place, the Ocers of SATIPS have asked me to write to you, even though as yet, owing to the postponement of the AGM I have not been formally elected – so I  am, for the moment, your ‘virtual President’!

As the new ‘virtual term’ begins I just wanted to wish you and your team well as you embark on the challenges ahead. You will have all been preparing for weeks, and I wanted you to know that the SATIPS ‘family’ is behind you every step of the way. I venture to suggest that the young people in our care may find the whole ‘on line’ operation a great deal easier than many of us teachers will, but the new situation will, I am sure, be a revelation to us all as to how we might do ‘matters educational’ dierently in the future.

As teachers your role is always critical. Your relationships with each individual child, with each family, with your fellow teachers and as part of a school’s community team, are always paramount. This time round you will be dealing with all these parts (and many more) of an equation from a distance, and with the young, and their families, being under many dierent pressures – financial, social, health et al.

As your SATIPS Council members are all teachers they too are facing up to these immense challenges. This message therefore is to wish you a stimulating start to your new ‘virtual term’. We all long to hear the patter of tiny feet around our school communities and buildings once again, and if SATIPS can help in any way do contact us. Let’s hope it will not be too long before our schools will be able to reopen. I am absolutely certain that the one thing I can guarantee is that the young will rise to the challenge – they always do! As a long serving Head, a long serving teacher, a former School Inspector, a former Chairman of IAPS and a governor of several schools over the years, I know exactly that is why we love our vocation. The young always cut straight to the quick.

One immediate measure of support that SATIPS can offer is to draw your attention once again to the ‘Preferred Suppliers’ that we have finalized: reputable companies and organisations that provide high quality services and products. They have been fully reviewed by SATIPS and can be confidently recommended. Crucially the Preferred Suppliers have pledged to offer their very best prices to member schools, more favourable than available to other schools. In essence SATIPS has removed the need for senior members of schools to search for potential suppliers, for SATIPS has fulfilled that requirement. Please utilise them – they have been sourced and recruited for your School’s benefit!

Take care, stay safe and do try to keep your sense of humour. We will come out of this eventually. Finally, may I urge you to do one thing for me? Please do keep a log in your department, and in your school, of those ‘magic moments’ which in happier times we may try to bring together – either in ‘Prep School’ magazine or in a SATIPS Broadsheet – to show how resilient, determined imaginative and creative the young can be!

Good luck!

With best wishes

Richard Tovey – President SATIPS


Richard was Headmaster of Tockington Manor School and, with his wife, Jane, ran the school from 1975 through to 2013. He was a School Inspector, a member of the IAPS Council four times and Chairman in 1999/2000. He has been a governor of several schools, both at home and overseas, over the years and is currently a governor of Millfield. Richard was awarded an MBE in 2016 for his services to education.

If you would like to respond to Richard or need any more information, please email