GOVERNORS at a Uttoxeter school have expressed their sadness as ‘a popular and respected’ head teacher leaves for pastures new.
Alison Trenery, chair of governors at Thomas Alleyne’s High School, wished head teacher Suzanne O’Farrell (pictured) all the best for the future as she enjoys her last day today before she takes up a new post with the Association of School and College Leaders.
Mrs O’Farrell joined the school in 1996 as head of modern languages, before taking on the post of deputy head and eventually head teacher seven years ago.
During her time at Alleyne’s she has seen the school through many successes with its good academic results and Ofsted report, stage productions and many prizes and awards in fields such as sport, technology, art and photography.
She also led the school through the celebrations for its 450th anniversary in 2007-8 and has overseen many improvements in the quality of teaching and learning and the quality of the facilities including the school farm during her time as head.
Mrs Trenery said: “Governors, staff and students will be very sorry to lose a head who has shown such whole-hearted enthusiasm and commitment in running the school.
“Suzanne O’Farrell has been a very successful head teacher with a deep interest in every aspect of school life.
“She has always been fully aware of how important Thomas Alleyne’s is to the local community and to the Uttoxeter Pyramid of Schools and we will be looking for a replacement head teacher who can build on her successes and show an equal commitment to keeping the school at the heart of the local Uttoxeter community.”
Mrs O’Farrell told the Post and Times she was sad to be leaving a school close to her heart but will be working to help other schools to be up to standard ready for inspections.
She said: “It has been a privilege to work with so many pupils over the years and it is a pleasure to meet them as I go around town and hear of their successes.”
Until a new head teacher is found the school’s deputy head Carl Gliddon will take the role of acting head.
Mrs Trenery added: “The governors have set up a recruitment panel to find a new head teacher and the post is now advertised but it will be Easter or September before a new head is in place.
“In the meantime the governors are pleased to have appointed Carl Gliddon as acting head. He is currently a deputy head but for the last term has been seconded to Windsor Park Middle School as acting head there while they were recruiting a new head.
“Mr Gliddon is well known to pupils and parents and is looking forward to taking up his new temporary role in January. He, the staff and the governors will be very much focussed on maintaining the school’s stability and supporting the students in their work as they come up to the crucial exam period.”