Her interest in teaching began when she set up a playgroup in the late 1960s, before taking a degree in maths with the Open University.
After completing her PGCE, she taught for a brief period in comprehensive schools before joining St Paul's girls' school in London where she became head of maths and head of the middle school.
"There is a huge demand for more mathematicians, physicists and engineers and girls tend to be under-represented," she said. "This is partly because they do not see them as creative subjects and they have not been introduced to the excitement and personal fulfilment that can flow from imaginative and creative problem-olving."
Meanwhile, Chris Robinson, headmaster of Hipperholme grammar school near Halifax, has been appointed the new chairman of the Society of Headmasters and Headmistresses of Independent Schools - one of the five professional associations of heads within the Independent Schools Council.
Head of the 300-pupil school since 1988, Mr Robinson is a committed champion of small schools. He taught in state schools until appointed deputy head of Shebbear College, Devon, in 1984.
David Wood, headmaster of the Daiglen school, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, is the new chair of the Independent Schools Association.
Mr Wood, 45, has taught in both independent and state sectors. For the past 11 years, he has been head of the preparatory school.