Shock as head takes up new chal­lenge

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Message Board - By ASHA ME­HTA

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.

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