Farewell Mr Watts

ONE of Ipswich's best-known teachers bows out today after 17 years at the helm of Northgate High School.Neil Watts is retiring after overseeing the development of the school on a modern campus.

ONE of Ipswich's best-known teachers bows out today after 17 years at the helm of Northgate High School.

Neil Watts is retiring after overseeing the development of the school on a modern campus.

He became head of Northgate in 1992 after the retirement of Brian Ingham, who had overseen the rebuilding of a school which had been created from the remnants of separate boys and girls grammar schools.

He had been head at Sudbury before returning to Northgate where he had been deputy head in the mid-1980s.

Mr Watts said: “I started in 1992 and returned to a school which I had been involved in planning a few years earlier. I came back determined the school should make the most of its potential.”

While he remains a teacher at heart, Mr Watts also points out that he is effectively the chief executive of an �8.5 million business.

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He is confident about the future of the school: “The legacy I am leaving is a strong team. My main role has been appointing and helping to develop people - not just the teaching and support staff but the pupils and students themselves.”

Mr Watts hopes to spend more time at his home with his family - but also wants to do some work in the field of education.

“I still hope to make a difference somewhere,” he said.