Linda Madden: Founding Principal

Linda Madden: B.A (Early Childhood): R.g. NI Mont. Dip. Adv. (1957 – 2011)

Linda Madden was the  founder and principal of the nationally and internationally acclaimed Rainbow Montessori School Nurseries, Rainbow Montessori Junior School and Rainbow Montessori Training College.  In addition to establishing some of the finest Montessori Schools in the United Kingdom, Linda was also a worldwide lecturer and examiner for Montessori Centre International (formerly St. Nicholas Montessori), an Assessor for Montessori Education UK, an Ofsted Inspector, and passionate humanitarian.

Linda’s journey into a lifetime devoted to education started early in her teenage years when volunteering at schools and orphanages in London. Her enthusiasm and the natural way she interacted and worked with the children in her care led to Linda being encouraged by colleagues to apply to the St. Nicholas Montessori School. In 1974, Linda Madden began her Montessori training under the tutelage of Maria Montessori’s own students, Margaret Homfray and Phoebe Child.

Once Linda successfully completed her training she began teaching at Carroll Montessori School in South Kensington, however, it wasn’t long before she used her experience and knowledge to open up her own ‘Rainbow Montessori Nursery’ in 1982 quickly followed by a second Rainbow Montessori Nursery in Highgate Village.

With both nursery schools blossoming, Linda set up the Rainbow Montessori Junior School in West Hampstead in 1992.
She later gained a distinction in her degree of Early Childhood at the University of North London and finally opened Queen’s Park Nursery in 2009.

Linda supported numerous charities throughout her lifetime and was known for her kindness and generosity. Amongst one of the most memorable examples of this is the Montessori School she set up for underprivileged children in Paraguay. Not only did Linda raise funding for the project but also enjoyed getting stuck right in to the hands on work- traveling to the remote Paraguayan town to take an active part in setting up the school and personally meeting the children whose lives she was to touch.

Linda Madden was considered an ambassador for the ideals of the Montessori Method by her peers.  She was an examiner for Montessori Centre International (formerly St. Nicholas), held conferences worldwide and lectured in Canada, America, Germany, Ireland, South Africa Malaysia and Sweden. In addition to her role as examiner and lecturer she was also a Montessori Assessor for Montessori Education UK and a registered nursery inspector for OFSTED.

In March 2012 Linda posthumously received the award for Montessorian of the Year from Montessori Centre International alongside an incredibly moving speech in which  MCI chair, Dr Martin Bradley, commended Linda’s dedication to her work and praised her for setting the benchmark for the future of education within her own three Montessori nurseries and junior school.

Linda Madden will be remembered for her tireless efforts to create a better educational world for children and her energetic lust for life. She injected enthusiasm and excitement into everything she did and this was especially true of her beloved Rainbow Montessori Schools.  Rainbow is her legacy and we, together with her husband John and her mother Rita are committed to continue creating the most wonderful Montessori environment and education there is.