Ex-mayor receives top education award

A FORMER mayor of Ipswich today told of his pride after he was rewarded for his tireless work and commitment to education.

A FORMER mayor of Ipswich today told of his pride after he was rewarded for his tireless work and commitment to education.

Roger Fern, who was in office between 2004 and 2005, was named school governor of the year at the East of England 2009 Teaching Awards.

The ceremony celebrated excellence in schools throughout the region and recognised the determined work of headteachers, teachers, teaching assistants, governors and sustainable schools.

Mr Fern was among a select few to receive a distinction and an engraved glass award at the ceremony and was cheered on by a 250-strong audience, including pupils, parents and colleagues at the De Vere Dunston Hall hotel in Norwich.

The Halifax Primary School and Stoke High School governor began his spell in education as an education adviser with Suffolk County Council in 2003, having been a secondary teacher at Kesgrave and a primary headteacher at Witnesham, Sprites Junior, St Helen's Primary and Sidegate Primary schools.

He went on to become governor at Gorseland Primary School, where his grandchildren were pupils, nine years ago. Mr Fern said: “The head persuaded me that it was a reasonable job to take on. I must have done a good job of it because I was invited to go to Halifax when the school went into special measures.

Most Read

“The school has come an enormous distance and I'm still having a great time.”

England's 300,000 school governors make up largest group of volunteers in the country.

There are currently vacancies in some Suffolk schools for parent governors, by election or appointment, community governors with the support of the current governing body and local authority governors, by nomination.

Mr Fern, whose chosen theme during his year as Mayor was learning, said: “By and large, becoming a governor is something anyone can do, providing you have an interest in education and take a broader view of the school system.

“As a community governor you support the school and promote it in the community but also have to ask difficult questions about how the school is doing compared to others in the area.”

Do you know a teacher, teaching assistant or headteacher who deserves recognition? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk