Springwell Community College bids fond farewell to six teachers and a governor

From left, Jill Codrington, Ken Allen, Gill Leake, Carole Clarke, Angela Barnston and Deborah Raynor. Pictures by Anne Shelley.
From left, Jill Codrington, Ken Allen, Gill Leake, Carole Clarke, Angela Barnston and Deborah Raynor. Pictures by Anne Shelley.

Students and staff at Springwell Community College in Staveley have bid a fond farewell to six treasured teachers and a dedicated governor.

The teachers – Angela Barnston, Carole Clarke, Deborah Rayner, Gill Leake, Jill Codrington and Ken Allen – have retired after working at the college and its predecessor schools for a combined total of more than 150 years.

Headteacher Ian Wingfield said: “It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to six teachers who have given their careers to Springwell and to education in Staveley and Brimington.

“Many of our students’ parents – and, dare I say it, a few grandparents too! – have been taught by one or more of them.

“It was absolutely right that we gave them a great send off on their last day to show our admiration of their wonderful careers and give our thanks for everything they have done for the young people of our community.

“All of us wish them very happy and healthy retirements.”

Students and staff sang a song for the members of staff who have retired.

Students and staff sang a song for the members of staff who have retired.

On the last day of term yesterday, the teachers arrived at the college grounds in a limousine and were welcomed by all students and staff who sang a song.

The guest of honour was Steve Pettett who has retired as a college governor after 27 years in office.

During this time he has overseen the appointment of six headteachers and was a driving force in securing and planning the college’s new buildings, which were opened in 2011.

Mr Pettett’s career in education began as a science teacher at Brimington Boys’ School in 1974.

He then taught at Westwood School and subsequently at Springwell, where he was a deputy headteacher.

Mr Wingfield paid tribute to Mr Pettett’s contribution to education in the area by sying: “Steve has dedicated his working life and a large part of his retirement to improving the life chances of young people in our area.

“On behalf of students, staff, governors and the community I would like to thank him sincerely for everything he has done for us and wish him a very happy retirement.”

Following the performance of the song, Mr Pettett presented the retiring staff with a gift.

Mr Wingfield then presented Mr Pettett with a gift to show appreciation for all he has done for education in the area.

Profiles of the six teachers

Deborah Rayner taught music at Springwell since it opened in 1991 and previously worked at Westwood School in Hollingwood. She taught in this area for 29 years. More recently she was a valued and much respected member of the college’s leadership team.

Gill Leake also worked at Springwell since it opened, teaching drama at the college and before then at Westwood School. She taught in this area for 33 years.

Angela Barnston taught PE at Springwell since 1991 and before then at Westwood School. Angela is also involved in a number of local sports clubs including Middlecroft Ladies’ Netball and Staveley Ladies’ Hockey. A keen runner also, Angela has been hugely influential in encouraging young people, especially girls, to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Carole Clarke taught at Springwell since 1991 and before that at Middlecroft School. More recently she was the college’s careers officer, helping hundreds of young people choose their next steps after Springwell.

Ken Allen joined the science department at Springwell in 1992 having previously taught in Leicestershire. He has given 41 years of outstanding service to the teaching profession, 27 of them at Springwell.

Jill Codrington taught art at Springwell for 21 years and was a driving force in securing Springwell’s Specialist Arts College and Art Mark accreditations.