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Patrick Derham OBE (born 23 August 1959[1]) is a British History teacher and educationalist. From September 2014 he has been the Head Master of Westminster School, where he continues to teach in the classroom.[2]

Patrick Derham

Headmaster, Westminster School
Assumed office
Preceded byStephen Spurr
Personal details
EducationPangbourne College
Alma materPembroke College, Cambridge

He was previously Headmaster of Solihull School (1996-2001) and Rugby School (2001-2014), and also serves as a Trustee of Gladstone's Library[3]

He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to Education.[4][5]


He was educated aboard the permanently moored Arethusa II and Pangbourne College before gaining a First Class Degree in History (1982) at Pembroke College, Cambridge - specialising in the study of Ireland.


Patrick is known for his strong views on the importance of independent schools in the United Kingdom and makes occasional press appearances to argue his case,[6][7][8][9] including inviting those from the other side of the debate to speak at the school.[10] At Westminster, he introduced the PISA tests, introduced Queen's Scholarships for Girls[11] and announced plans to open 6 schools in China from 2020,[12] although these plans drew criticism from many of the students, as the schools will teach the Chinese Communist curriculum, as opposed to an international curriculum normally taught by international schools.[13] Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at SOAS London, was quoted in the Financial Times as saying: “I think they have no idea what they’re dealing with [...] If you set up a school in China, they will have a party secretary superintending the whole school and the party secretary will be responsible for political education”.[14] The issue was re-opened when the Times published an article, quoting Professor Edward Vickers of Kyushu University, accusing the school (and Kings College School who have similar plans) of "helping Chinese teach propaganda".[15][16] He edited a book, Loyal Dissent - a story of some of those who studied at Westminster.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

He met his wife Alison at Cambridge where she was studying English and Drama at Homerton College.[18] They have two adult children.


  1. ^ "Patrick Sibley Jan DERHAM - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  2. ^ "New Appointment". Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Charity Details". Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Birthday Honours lists 2018". GOV.UK. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Patrick DERHAM". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Patrick Derham appears on Newsnight - Westminster School". Westminster School. 10 September 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  7. ^ Derham, Patrick (4 October 2016). "Don't make public schools into a scapegoat". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Patrick Derham on how to be headmaster of the best school in the world - Lux Magazine". Lux Magazine. 19 May 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Behind The Scenes At Westminster School". Londonist. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  10. ^ Benn, Melissa (31 May 2016). "I returned to my father's school to say why private education must go". the Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Girls to become Queen's Scholars". Vimeo. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  12. ^ Bennett, Rosemary (7 December 2017). "Westminster School to open in China". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  13. ^ Phillips, Tom (7 December 2017). "Westminster School to set up branches in China to teach Chinese curriculum". the Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Westminster School to teach Chinese curriculum in China -Political education at UK private school's new sites to fall under Communist party direction". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  15. ^ Education Editor, Rosemary Bennett (18 May 2018). "Westminster and Kings accused of helping Chinese teach propaganda". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 20 May 2018.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  16. ^ "Westminster School to teach Chinese curriculum in China - Political education at UK private school's new sites to fall under Communist party direction".
  17. ^ Donaldson, Ian; Grayling, A. C.; Campbell, James; Cox, Peter; Clegg, Nick (23 June 2016). Derham, Patrick (ed.). Loyal Dissent: Brief Lives from Westminster School. The University of Buckingham Press. ISBN 9781908684745.
  18. ^ "Elizabethan Newsletter 2014/15". Issuu. Retrieved 9 June 2018.