March 10 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, February 15, 2014
The headteacher of St Peter’s School, in Huntingdon, is stepping down after eight years in charge and more than 40 years of teaching.
Val Ford will retire at the end of the summer along with her husband Jed Roberts, who is leaving Cromwell Community College in Chatteris.
She started teaching history in Lowfield School in York after graduating from York University and St John’s College, York. Her teaching career took her to the Middle East and America before she returned to Cambridgeshire where she taught at Sawston Village College for 14 years.
Mrs Ford joined St Peter’s from Mildenhall College of Technology, where she had worked for five years.
“We are leaving together,” said Mrs Ford, who turns 64 on Friday. “It has always been the plan to step down this year. I knew this would be the one and only headship for me. It had to be the right one and I had to make sure we made a difference to the lives of students and I hope we have.
“St Peter’s has been on a significant journey and I think everybody can be very proud of that journey. For me I’m just absolutely delighted we have been able to support and change many students’ lives and opportunities. I was very disappointed that we didn’t get an Ofsted ‘good’ last time around, but we are putting the school in the position that next time it will be good.
“What is most important for me, is not just about Ofsted, but our fantastic body of students and the staff who have supported what I have wanted to do.”
Mrs Ford’s favourite moments at St Peter’s include taking the school to fourth in the county for its value added score – the measure of how much students progress through school – the increase in GCSE results from 25 per cent A*-Cs to 78 per cent A*-Cs, the school’s charity fundraising, its role in the community and performing in the school panto in December.
Another fond moment was attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 2010.
Mrs Ford, who plans to a do a lot of travelling in her retirement, will be replaced by Christopher Bennett, currently deputy headteacher at Bushfield Academy, in Peterborough.