In 1872, a Catholic school was opened in Mayfield as a sister school to the one in St Leonards on Sea, established in 1848. Although the staff moved between schools, the girls themselves were notorious rivals. The schools merged in 1953, with St Leonards becoming the junior school and girls moving up to the senior school in Mayfield. When the school in St Leonards closed in 1976, the school in Mayfield remained and became St Leonards-Mayfield. The school now feels that sufficient time has passed to drop ‘St Leonards’ from its name.
Governors made the decision at a time when the school is undergoing other changes. A new sixth-form centre has been opened beside the 14th-century chapel and the school’s logo has been changed. Based on the insignia of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, the logo now features a new cross design adopted by the society in line with its sister schools around the world.
Chair of governors and former pupil Lady Davies of Stamford said: “We are proud of our heritage as a Catholic and particularly a Holy Child school, so to reflect this visually, governors decided to place the same cross at the centre of our logo and assume our new identity.”
Headmistress Antonia Beary added: “For 150 years we have been challenging girls to become creative, independent, confident and well-informed individuals, young women of faith and reason, ready to make a difference – whether as scientist, artist or both –and supported by a network of likeminded friends. Our school name is now clearer and reflects more accurately the school we are today: the breadth and depth of education and opportunities afforded to Mayfield girls remain the same.”