Heading off for fresh challenge

THE headteacher of St Peter s School in Huntingdon, David Furniss, is leaving after 17 years service with a dream of teaching abroad with his wife Maggie. Mr Furniss was the second longest serving head in the district after Jim Stewart at Sawtry and work

THE headteacher of St Peter's School in Huntingdon, David Furniss, is leaving after 17 years service with a dream of teaching abroad with his wife Maggie.

Mr Furniss was the second longest serving head in the district after Jim Stewart at Sawtry and worked in schools all over the country before settling in Huntingdon in 1989.

However, he actually arrived in Huntingdon by accident. While working in Plymouth he decided to practice applying for headteacher roles. He saw the Huntingdon position in a magazine and sent a letter thinking nothing of it. He then got the job.

"My children fell out with me when I got home from the interview and I had to move my family again but I'm glad I did it," he said.

Mr Furniss' role will officially end on August 31 and Valerie Ford, from Suffolk, will take over.

His teaching philosophy has seen him become a popular headteacher.

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"I have never met a child who hasn't had some good in them, somewhere. You just have to be patient and I find it," he said.

"I disagree with shouting at pupils. I don't shout at children unless they're far away."

He said he had enjoyed his time at St Peter's. He has overseen many great changes at the school - in 2005 it became a specialist school for maths and computing. This, he said, was a great achievement

Mr Furniss said: "The thing I admire about the schools in Huntingdonshire is the partnership, all the schools pull together and help each other.

"It is fantastic to see and they are recognised nationally for their school network."

He grew up on a farm in Lincolnshire but went on to study history and politics at the University of York. At a university party he was asked by a friend to help with a beer barrel and underneath it he found Maggie, a maths student, who became his wife.

His daughter Helen was born in 1978 and then Christopher in 1980.

Now he is leaving behind St Peter's, Mr Furniss said he and his wife would like to travel and carry out some voluntary work.

He said: "I can't say I will miss St Peter's but only because I am not a nostalgic person.

"It is a wonderful school and the teachers have been a pleasure to work with as they really work as a team ... and, of course the children have been delightful.

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