Search this Site:


John Horn, OBE

Common Room, 1957-70

John Horn, former housemaster of East House, died at home with his wife of nearly 64 years, Jane, by his side on May 15 in Melton Mowbray.

John met Jane when he was a Classics teacher at The Leys in September 1959 where she was the secretary to the then Headmaster Alan Barker. They married in July the following year.

When John became the housemaster for East House in 1962 it became their home until he left the School in 1970. By the time they moved on they had four children, Rachel, Matt, Barney and Dan, the three boys all being born in their school home.

Among the highlights of his time at the School were the week long holidays they organised through the Save the Children Fund for boys from Tower Hamlets in 1967 and 1969. The boys in East House raised the money and helped with the catering and organising outings for them. John, supported by Jane, led the team and it was great fun, exhausting and a learning experience for all.

A talented rugby player, who played for Leicester Tigers in the late 50s, John initially coached the under 15s before taking over the first XV when Neil White finished in the mid-60s.

He remained lifelong friends with fellow Leys masters Geoff Houghton, David Gardiner and Stan Whitehead and their families. Geoff kindly allowed Jane and the family, including newborn Dan, to stay in his home in B House while away on holiday as John’s new school started their summer term a week earlier.

John was educated at Kingswood School in Bath before studying Greats at Exeter College, Oxford. After leaving The Leys he worked in the state school sector, first as head of middle school in Millom Cumbria (1970-73) and then as a headteacher at Aireborough Grammar School in Leeds (1973-79) and Ossett School in Wakefield. At Aireborough he was responsible for the transition from a grammar school to a comprehensive.

From 1989-90 he was the President of the Secondary Heads’ Association, now known as the Association of School and College Leaders. Upon retirement from teaching in 1994 he was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth.

Words by Matthew Horn, John’s son