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‘The children in Ipswich are amazing’: Proud headteacher steps down after 11 years

PUBLISHED: 19:30 12 July 2020 | UPDATED: 07:02 15 July 2020

Springfield Junior School headteacher Michael Lynch is leaving his role after 11 years PICTURE: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Springfield Junior School headteacher Michael Lynch is leaving his role after 11 years PICTURE: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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One Ipswich headteacher is leaving on a high, stepping down from his role after 11 years at the helm of the school he made ‘Outstanding’.

Mr Lynch transformed Springfield in his time as headteacher, building a hand-picked team to take the school forwards PICTURE: SARAH LUCY BROWNMr Lynch transformed Springfield in his time as headteacher, building a hand-picked team to take the school forwards PICTURE: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Michael Lynch has spent 20 years teaching in schools in Suffolk and is the outgoing headteacher at Springfield Junior School.

Since arriving in April 2009 he has overseen a transformation, handpicking staff to help him turn it from a school that ‘Requires Improvement’ to an ‘Outstanding’ one, according to the most recent Ofsted report.

‘Trust them and they will pay you back ten-fold’

“I’ve always gone around the classrooms every day, in the morning or after play, and teachers like that,” said Mr Lynch.

“It can be a lonely job at times as a teacher so you have to support them to the hilt and make yourself available.

“I’ve been lucky enough to pick the staff we have at the school from all over the country and they all have their way of teaching and I’ve tried to foster that and guide them.

“A school is only is only as good as the teachers in it and if you trust them in the classroom they will pay you back ten-fold.”

‘The children of Ipswich are amazing’

His leadership and choice of staff have paid dividends for Springfield, with their students praised by inspectors for their achievement and attitudes to learning.

The school formed the Children’s Endeavour Trust with Ipswich’s Broke Hall Community Primary School in 2019 and five Stowmarket schools have joined the trust this year.

Mr Lynch had the highest praise for his students, adding: “The work ethic of the children in Ipswich is amazing.

“They are so bright. I listen to the aspirations of the Year 6 students and they are aiming so high.

“They all want careers as electricians or teachers or doctors. The work they produce is beyond anything I was producing at 16 or 17 years old. They are mind-blowing.”

‘I feel very privileged to work somewhere like Springfield’

His diligence through the years has earned Mr Lynch recognition as a National Leader of Education in 2015 and the same year was awarded the Suffolk Educational Leader of the year Award.

There have been commendations for the school as well. In 2017, Springfield was recognised nationally, winning the National Pupil Premium Award for excellent outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.

And in 2018 Springfield also became part of the National Research Schools Network.

The school has also risen to the challenge of lockdown.

Mr Lynch said: “We have staff keeping in touch with staff online. For those that can’t access work online, drop off work to them weekly.

“Children of keyworkers have been coming in every day during lockdown and every pupil has had the opportunity to come back.

“If they haven’t been able to come back for whatever reason we have made phone calls or I’ve visited them at home to check in myself.”

Mr Lynch hopes to continue working with the trust after he departs from Springfield but is leaving it in the capable hands of his deputy headteacher Louise Everitt.

He says the school, its pupils and families all hold a very special place in his heart.

“The school was built in 1896 and I just feel very privileged to work somewhere with that history and those students,” he added.

“I wouldn’t want to be a headteacher at another school now, Springfield has been such an amazing experience.

“There’s no other school like it and it’s unique. We have 350 children here and it’s amazing how they conduct themselves.

“It’s in a wonderful part of Ipswich surrounded by amazing families and an amazing community.

“But I feel like leaders know when it’s a good time to go and I have a great team of people there to leave it in the care of, so now feels like the right time.”


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