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School says goodbye to long-serving head

Neil Richmond is retiring as headteacher at Stobhillgate First School in Morpeth. Picture by Jane Coltman
Neil Richmond is retiring as headteacher at Stobhillgate First School in Morpeth. Picture by Jane Coltman

For the headteacher at Stobhillgate First School, school will soon be out for good.

Neil Richmond is retiring from the role this summer. He has been at the Morpeth school for more than 16 years.

The new head, starting in September, will be Glen Whitehead. He is currently deputy headteacher at Fordley Primary School in North Tyneside.

During his time at the school, Mr Richmond and his staff’s efforts have resulted in a range of achievements – these include outstanding Ofsted grades and Artsmark Gold and Platinum awards.

He has also been involved in organising fun activities such as Christmas plays and musical extravaganzas.

He said: “The results here are excellent, the children respond to the highest quality first teaching and all children are making progress.

“Stobhillgate has taken each child on from where they are and developed those all-important skills so that they are ready for life.

“We believe in things like forest school, daily runs and creative aspects so that the combination allows the children to work hard, play and receive memorable experiences for life yet all the while underpin everything in learning the cores: reading, writing, maths, investigations and problem-solving.

“The school is always evolving with green screens, iPads, outdoor education, courses to develop up-to-date teaching and learning and bringing writing alive through filming – all ensuring that our learning is relevant, fun and practical.

“Stobhillgate has been a big part of my life for the last 16-and-a-half years and as I pass it on to a new headteacher, I’m sure the children will amaze him too.

“From the platform we’ve created, I’ve been able to do so many other things, for example being chairman of the local school games and involved with the Culture Bridge North East and SCHOOLS NorthEast organisations.

“And this last year, I’ve been seconded to Northumbria University to help with interviews, research, assessing presentations, link tutoring in schools and teaching in aspects related to literacy.

“To everyone in Stobhillgate’s school community, past and present and so far reaching, it would be impossible to relate the incalculable things you’ve done for its children – thank you.

“The well-wishes that I have received from the school community, including former pupils, has been overwhelming.”

Mr Richmond added that after the summer break, he is hoping to continue what he has been doing at the university for a couple of days a week and maybe go on to ‘inspire the institution which inspired me’ – he qualified as a teacher at Northumbria.