Tributes paid following death of Aylesbury High School’s founding headmistress

Joan Camp during a visit to Aylesbury High School in 2007, with Alan Rosen in the foreground
Joan Camp during a visit to Aylesbury High School in 2007, with Alan Rosen in the foreground

The first headmistress of Aylesbury High School has died.

Joan Camp led the girls’ school from 1959 after it was established following the split from Aylesbury Grammar School.

She died peacefully on March 1 aged 98.

Current headteacher Alan Rosen said: “She laid the foundations for the school. She set the school up on a new site and had to establish what it stood for.

“It’s remarkable how her three main principles are the ones that we adhere to today: academic excellence, being a major part of the community and having a really international outlook.

“She was somebody who knew what she wanted and had a determination to do the best for the students.”

Following her retirement in 1975, Miss Camp maintained her ties with the school and until recently visited a couple of times a year to see how it was doing and always retained an interest in how it was evolving.

During a visit in 2007, Miss Camp spoke about the development of history teaching during her time at the school. She said: “When I started plain English history was taught, people were ploughing through the Tudors and Stuarts. I formed and developed an international syllabus which quite a lot of people objected to.”

Mr Rosen hopes to run a series of assemblies next term to celebrate her life.

Originally from London, Miss Camp studied history and divinity at King’s College and economics at the London School of Economics.

During the war she lectured to the army, civil defence service and the Red Cross and in 1946 spent a year teaching in Indiana, America as a Fulbright Scholar.

Her funeral will take place at Amersham Crematorium on Tuesday (March 12) at 10.45am. Afterwards, anyone is welcome at Missenden Abbey for refreshments.