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Long serving headteacher calls it a day

PUBLISHED: 23:36 18 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 March 2010

ONE of Suffolk's longest-serving headteachers is retiring after 29 years in charge of the same school.

Graham Pearson was in his 20s when he took over at Trimley St Martin Primary School, but now he is leaving to spend more time with his family and devote his energies to his hobbies of golf and fishing.

ONE of Suffolk's longest-serving headteachers is retiring after 29 years in charge of the same school.

Graham Pearson was in his 20s when he took over at Trimley St Martin Primary School, but now he is leaving to spend more time with his family and devote his energies to his hobbies of golf and fishing.

Mr Pearson, 58, started his career at Crofton Junior School in Bromley, London, which had 1,000 pupils plus a 600-pupil infant school.

He was a head of year when at the age of 28 he looked for a deputy headship, and was appointed as head at Trimley, a small rural school with just 100 pupils.

Over the past three decades he has steered the school through enormous change which has seen it double in pupil numbers and the buildings remodelled and increased with the addition of a playing field, new hall, extra classrooms and a computer suite.

"It was quite a cultural shock when I first came here after being in London. The children were very different and the things they were doing were different, and there was a real rural atmosphere," he said.

"I couldn't believe we didn't have a playing field – we were surrounded by fields but no playing field – and we got that sorted pretty quickly.

"The school and the villages have grown over the years, and there are still a lot of children from established families but a lot of new people have moved in. Some of the children I taught when I came here now send their own children."

Mr Pearson fell in love with Suffolk – he lives with his wife and nine-year-old daughter near Hollesley – and the school and settled here.

"I have found lots of opportunities within the school for change, lots of challenges, and also within Suffolk, and those opportunities have kept me fresh," he said.

"There has been a lot of change in education over the years I have been here, too, and that brings freshness, as does seeing the new children come in each year and working with new families."

While he won't miss the bureaucracy of education today, he will miss the children and his colleagues, and he plans to do some supply teaching in the area.

A special farewell assembly and an evening event have been held to mark his retirement.

The new head teacher will be Peter Lamb, from Occold, who takes over in January.


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