Brixington head to retire in summer '09

PUBLISHED: 10:30 12 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:11 10 June 2010

ERIC Howard, the head teacher who has helped turn Brixington Primary School around following a poor Ofsted report in 2005, will be retiring next summer. Although Mr Howard has been head of the school for just four terms, he has overseen some key changes.

ERIC Howard, the head teacher who has helped turn Brixington Primary School around following a poor Ofsted report in 2005, will be retiring next summer. Although Mr Howard has been head of the school for just four terms, he has overseen some key changes.Originally from Bedfordshire, Mr Howard, who has three grown up children, has lived in Exmouth for 35 years: "My children are all successful products of Exmouth schools," he said proudly.In the teaching profession for 30 years, Mr Howard was acting head teacher at Marpool School before taking the position up officially in 1989 and he stayed there until moving to Brixington last year.Ofsted declared in 2006 that Brixington had improved significantly and would continue to do so in the future.Mr Howard and his predecessor Jane Wain changed the working environment at the school by reviewing the curriculum, introducing extra specialised training for teaching assistants and taking the time to listen to the needs of staff, pupils and parents: "Finding time for everybody has been the greatest challenge. It is quite a large school and you do have to listen to people in order to make the right decisions," he said. "One of the challenges of having an upper and lower site is you find that wherever you are is where you are not supposed to be!"But success, he said, would not have been possible without the support of parents, pupils, the PTA and colleagues: "Different people at different times need to lead. I can't do it all on my own. "If you are going to provide good leadership somewhere, you have to provide a positive place where people come to school with smiles on their faces. "You have to understand that what they do is valued."What I have found here is such strength of people coming through, new people joining the governing body, the PTA growing bigger and stronger and the dedication and extra work put in from the teachers and staff."He says that teaching and teaching methods in the 21st century are always changing - the school now has a new library and state-of-the-art ICT suite."It's a different job each year, you can either fight change or you can welcome it. Usually out of all change there are some positives and that is why I have enjoyed doing it for so long."He won't be giving up education altogether but will concentrate on his work as a School Improvement Partner in Somerset and his work in the Exmouth Area Learning Community, while in his spare time wants to take up photography.Jonathan Galling will be his replacement, taking up his new post in September 2009, moving from a school in Bridgwater.Mr Howard added: "Brixington attracted a strong field of experienced heads that were willing to come and work here in Exmouth and it was a difficult choice to make."We are delighted Jonathan is taking up the post. "He is originally from East Devon.


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