Head greeted with guard of honour on his last day
Teacher leaves school for new role after 12 years in charge
There were plenty of celebrations at Ashford Prep School last Friday as the staff and pupils said a special goodbye to their head teacher.
Richard Yeates was welcomed into the school on his last morning with a special guard of honour where over 300 members of staff, pupils and their parents lined the school path to clap and cheer him.
The celebrations continued throughout the day and in the afternoon, in the school’s annual prize-giving ceremony, a commemorative portrait of Mr Yeates, which was painted by former pupil Rebecca Smith, was unveiled. It will now be hung in the school.
Mr Yeates said to his staff: “You have all made my last hours, days, weeks and year, very special. I cannot thank you enough for the special events recently and also your loyalty, hard work, care and skill. You truly are an amazing team.”
He has been the head of Ashford Prep School in Great Chart for 12 years and oversaw the merger with Ashford Junior School, where he was head teacher, and the Friars Prep School.
The school is now home to nearly 400 pupils who enjoy a vast range of co-curricular activities and have 25 acres of sports and playing fields.
“Education should be bold, broad and holistic,” said Mr Yeates.
“Children need to develop the skills to be employable and mentally strong. It is not about a narrow range of academic subjects taught brilliantly.
“We have a school that can give each child amazing opportunities and education.” Mr Yeates will be taking up a new job at United Learning however his wife Sue, who is also a teacher at Ashford Prep School, will remain there.
Penny Willets will be taking over the role of head teacher at the school.
Ashford Prep School head teacher Richard Yeates, pictured with his wife Sue, is leaving after 17 years at the school; right, a portrait of Mr Yeates painted by former pupil Rebecca Smith