Head greeted with guard of honour on his last day

Teacher leaves school for new role af­ter 12 years in charge

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kentish Express Time Capsule From Our Archives - By Kristina Cur­tis

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

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