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Felixstowe teacher quits school

PUBLISHED: 21:16 26 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:54 03 March 2010

THE headteacher of a Felixstowe high school who has been away from his job for more than six months on long-term sick leave will not be returning to his post.

THE headteacher of a Felixstowe high school who has been away from his job for more than six months on long-term sick leave will not be returning to his post.

David Hutcheson has been away from Deben High in Garrison Lane since April and colleagues had been hoping to see him back leading the school again.

But now the governors have announced that this will not be so – and they will be seeking a new headteacher for the 1,000-pupil school.

Simon Sweetman, chairman of governors, said Mr Hutcheson was taking early retirement on the grounds of ill health. This was effective from 1 October.

"As you know, Mr Hutcheson's wife died shortly after he took up the post of head, and the family problems he faced added to the strains of a difficult job. We are grateful to him for all his efforts," he said in a letter to parents.

"We now have to get on with the job of seeking to appoint a new head, and the governing body will meet very soon to begin the process.

"Until that time, Terry Ring will continue to be the acting head and Mike Osborne his deputy. The governing body is very pleased with the way that Mr Ring and the staff have coped during the period of Mr Hutcheson's absence, and has every confidence that we will continue to move forward over the next few months."

The governors will decide whether to seek a new head for appointment at the start of the summer term or whether to aim to have a replacement in post for the start of the academic year 2002-2003.

Mr Hutcheson, 48, took over as head in January 1998, moving to Felixstowe from a large 11-18 mixed school in Enfield, where he was deputy headteacher.

He had taught for 19 years and has a great interest in the expressive arts. He was educated at the Irvine Royal Academy and attended Stirling University.

Shortly after taking up his new post his wife, a solicitor in Colchester, fell seriously ill and later died, leaving him to care for their young children – daughter, Alice, and twin sons, Duncan and Rory.

He continued to work tirelessly for the school with the solid backing of the governors, steering the school through several changes as it won a prestigious National Sports Merit Award for its commitment to sport, played a greater role in the community, achieved record exam passes, secured a £40,000 grant to help repair its worn-out sports hall floor, and improved its computer facilities.

This was followed in 1999 by a highly-successful Ofsted report with the government body highlighting the quality of teaching and learning at the school.

It said the level of teaching had greatly improved since the previous inspection five years earlier and was very good or excellent – the highest categories – in one in five lessons and good in the others.

Other findings said pupils were well behaved in lessons and around the school that attendance was good and that there were very good relationships between pupils and adults.

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