Shock as head takes up new challenge
GLOWING tributes have been paid to an “encouraging” headteacher whose sudden departure after five years at the top has left staff shocked.
The news that St John Burkett had resigned with immediate effect from Linchfield Community Primary School was delivered to parents in a letter on Monday.
Staff at the school in Deeping St James have been “saddened” by the announcement, which was so unexpected, Mr Burkett didn’t have time to say his goodbyes to the children. He is set to become an independent consultant and deputy headteacher Anne Harvey has been appointed acting head until July.
She said Mr Burkett had played an important role in the school’s development and always had the children’s interests at heart.
“We have all been saddened at the departure of Mr Burkett who has left Linchfield School to take up the op- portunity to become an independent consultant,” she said. “On Monday, we held a special assembly for the children to discuss how we will all miss and remember him.
“Mr Burkett was renown for leading the school’s conker championship and other events such as May Day, sports day and an active school council, as well as being committed to raising standards throughout the school. The children are currently recording their happy memories of him in letters, poems and drawings. They remember him, in particular, for his smile, his sense of humour, for talking to them about their work and their achievements in and out of school. He will also be remembered for the way he always encouraged the children with his enthusiasm and positive attitude.”
She said she was particularly grateful for the encouragement he gave her to apply to go to South Africa on an International Leadership Programme, while a newly qualified teacher remembered him for being one of the only school heads prepared to offer her a place on the Graduate Teacher Programme. There are plans to invite Mr Burkett back to school to mark his dedication and contribution to the school.
Vice-chairman of governers Nigel Cannon said: “Mr Burkett feels the school is in a good position, with hard-working staff who will ensure recent improvements are continued. He apologises to parents and children for not having the opportunity to say goodbye properly, but the details were only worked out very late. Mr Burkett has asked the governers to pass on that he has had a lovely time working at Linchfield and believes it is an exceptional school with brilliant and friendly children.”
Mr Burkett was not available to comment.
SUddeN: St John Burkett has unexpectedly resigned after five years as headteacher of Linchfield School.