Martin Stephen

George Martin Stephen
George Martin Stephen.jpg
Born 1949
Employer self employed
Title High Master

George Martin Stephen (born 1949) was High Master (headmaster) of St Paul's School in London until 1 January 2011.[1] He is an author and has been described as "one of Britain's highest profile heads".[2]


Stephen was educated at Uppingham School, the University of Leeds in West Yorkshire, where he obtained his BA degree, and the University of Sheffield (in South Yorkshire), where he obtained a distinction for his PhD while also working full-time at Haileybury College.[3]


After working in remand homes while still a teenager, Stephen returned briefly to Uppingham as a teacher of English. For ten years at Haileybury College he also taught English, and became a housemaster. He moved for four years to be second master of Sedbergh School, then became headmaster of The Perse School, an independent school in Cambridge, then High Master of Manchester Grammar School, an independent school in Manchester. He served as chairman of The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, a group of 250 independent schools.[2][4] In 2004 he moved from Manchester to St Paul's.

On 29 June 2010, he announced his decision to stand down as High Master of St Paul's in August 2011.[5] In the days following his announcement, The Times reported that there had been an "apparent confrontation" with governors over Stephen's ability to raise funds for the school's redevelopment.[6] This claim was rebutted by the school in a letter sent to The Times, in which the chairman of the governors stated there was "no lack of confidence in [Stephen's] fundraising abilities", but rather Stephen had chosen not to seek renewal of his contract in 2011 to allow a new head to provide continuity of oversight throughout the multimillion-pound redevelopment.[7] Stephen had in fact led a campaign that had raised over £30m for St Paul's School, and had previously raised over £10m for bursaries at Manchester Grammar School. In November 2010, he announced that he was to take sabbatical leave from 1 January 2011 until July 2011, when his tenure as High Master was due to end. He was succeeded by Mark Bailey, who agreed to "give some of his time" to St Paul's for the first half of 2011.[1] Stephen was the Director of Education for GEMS (UK) and Chairman of the Clarendon Academies Group.

Stephen went on to found The National Mathematics and Science College with Geoffrey Robinson which opened in 2016.[8]

Stephen is the governor of Hartland International School-Dubai and also heads the school's “Gifted and Talented Education” program.

In summer 2020 Stephen was appointed as Chair of Governors at Regent High School, Camden.

As an author

Stephen is an author of several academic titles on English literature, modern naval history and war poetry. The five Henry Gresham novels are crime thrillers set in the London and Cambridge of Elizabeth I and James I. He writes under the name of "Martin Stephen".


Stephen suffered a stroke towards the end of 2005, and wrote about his experiences in a work titled Diary of a Stroke. He followed US research that states that if there is a clot in the brain but no bleed into the brain, the brain can be reprogrammed so that speech, writing and physical movement can return nearly to their previous levels.[9]

Selected works

  • Never Such Innocence: Poems of the First World War (ISBN 978-0460873505)
  • The Desperate Remedy: Henry Gresham and the Gunpowder Plot ( ISBN 0316859702)
  • The Galleon's Grave: Henry Gresham and the Spanish Armada ( ISBN 0316726699)
  • The Conscience of the King: Henry Gresham and the Shakespeare Conspiracy ( ISBN 0316860026)
  • Rebel Heart: Henry Gresham and the Earl of Essex ( ISBN 978-0316726702)
  • The Coming of the King: Henry Gresham and James I (ASIN: B00A9VPLN6)


  1. ^ a b Stephen, Martin (30 November 2010). "Dr Martin Stephen's letter to parents". Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
  2. ^ a b Ross, Tim (1 July 2010). "'Row' rumours as top London school head quits". Evening Standard. p. 4.
  3. ^ "New head of independent schools body". The Guardian. London. 6 January 2004. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  4. ^ "New High Master Appointed". St Paul's School (London). 2004. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  5. ^ Hohler, F C G (29 June 2010). "High Master to stand down in 2011". St Paul's School. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  6. ^ Sugden, Joanna (1 July 2010). "Head of St Paul's School is forced out 'after dispute'". The Times. London. p. 20.
  7. ^ Hohler, Fred (5 July 2010). "St Paul's head; Letters to the Editor". The Times. London. p. 22.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Stephen, Martin (10 January 2013). "Martin Stephen: I had a stroke of good luck with my stroke". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013.
Preceded by
Richard Stephen Baldock
High Master of St Paul's School
Succeeded by
Mark Bailey
Preceded by
James Geoffrey Parker
High Master of Manchester Grammar School
Succeeded by
Christopher Ray
Preceded by
A. E. Melville
Headmaster of The Perse School
Succeeded by
Nigel P. V. Richardson

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