The headmaster of a Scottish private school is stepping down after just two years in the post.

Parents from Fettes College, in Edinburgh, have been informed that Geoffrey Stanford is to leave the job following discussions with the school’s board of governors on its "future strategic focus".

It is understood the move comes after a disagreement over whether new pupils who wanted to join Fettes at S4 or later would have to board.

Currently those who come to the school at a later stage have the option of either boarding or joining as a day pupil, but Mr Stanford thought they should be offered a boarding-only option.

Pupils who join the school earlier have both boarding and day options.

Fettes College is the most expensive independent school in Scotland with fees of some £28,000 a year for day pupils and £34,000 a year for boarders. Previous pupils include former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

HeraldScotland: Helen HarrisonHelen Harrison

Helen Harrison, deputy head at Fettes for over ten years, will become head for a minimum period of two years to "ensure ongoing stability and continuity for students, staff and parents alike", the email to parents states.

She will be the first female head in the school's 150 year history.

Michael Osborne, chairman of the governors, said: "We’d like to thank Geoffrey for all his efforts and for the integrity he has shown throughout his tenure.

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"He has made a valuable contribution to the Fettes community over the past two years, including the most recent Scottish Care Inspectorate inspection, where Fettes was awarded ‘sector-leading’ across all assessed categories.

"This decision has been reached by mutual agreement and Geoffrey leaves with our very best wishes.

"We look to the future confident in the knowledge that under the leadership of Helen Harrison, supported by our highly-experienced senior leadership team, Fettes will continue to thrive and offer an exceptional all-round education."

Mr Stanford, who previously held senior positions at Sevenoaks School and Pangbourne College, said: “The last two years have been incredibly rewarding, serving this remarkable school.

"It has been a pleasure to be part of a wonderful community that is full of warmth and energy, and I am now looking forward to my next challenge.”

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Mr Stanford took over in 2017 from previous headmaster Michael Spens, who had been in the role since 1998.

Mr Stanford was educated at Eton, where he received an Oppidan scholarship before going on to read Classics at St Hugh's College, Oxford.

He served as a Captain in the Grenadier Guards and has worked for both The Boston Consulting Group and Citigroup.

He has rowed for Eton, Sandhurst and the British Army at Henley, completed the Marathon des Sables and Devizes to Westminster canoe race, and taken part in a succession of expeditions to the Himalayas, including leading an international team to the summit of Mount Everest.