Head retires after 16 years

A HEADTEACHER of the largest primary school in Suffolk is retiring after 16 years.David Crowe established a playgroup, after school club, nursery and extra classrooms at Sidegate Primary School to enhance its all round provision for the local community.

A HEADTEACHER of the largest primary school in Suffolk is retiring after 16 years.

David Crowe established a playgroup, after school club, nursery and extra classrooms at Sidegate Primary School to enhance its all round provision for the local community.

At a farewell reception on Monday , the children marked his achievements with a fitting array of activities.

The nursery children performed a song, others recited an action poem while the seven-year-olds did some Morris Dancing in tribute to Mr Crowe's favourite hobby.


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He also received a commissioned watercolour collage of the school and a crystal decanter and glasses with the school's crest.

Mr Crowe said: "I have got mixed feelings. I am looking forward to the freedom but I have been involved in education since 1966 so it will be quite a wrench to leave it.

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"What has been very special is the children; they are absolutely wonderful. You hear about these awful children but we have been so lucky at Sidegate."

Mr Crowe steered the school through two good Ofsted inspections and oversaw the building of a new library since he took the job in 1988.

His arrival from his post as head of Diss Junior School coincided with major changes in primary education, including the introduction of local management, which allowed the school to take over most of its budget allocated by Suffolk Local Authority.

Mr Crowe also navigated the school through the complex changes to the National Curriculum, which was introduced in 1988, although he does have concerns.

He said: "I feel we have built a very special school. On the other hand things are changing in education quite dramatically.

"The funding is very tight now and they are moving to put unqualified staff in classes so I am concerned about that."

Mr Crowe and his wife, also a teacher, live in Burston, Norfolk, and have two sons, Jonathan, a research scientist and Alex, a film grip.

Looking to the future, he said: "I have always been very keen on folk music and I belong to a Morris Dancing group. I am squire of the group this year and we are going away to Shropshire to dance and then going to a folk festival."

He will find it difficult to make way for his replacement Andrew Waterman, a consultant head in Essex.

He said: "It is like handing over your family and you're hoping it all goes well."

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