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Telford headteacher Nigel retires after four decades

By Deborah Hardiman | Telford | Education | Published:

A long-serving headteacher will retire this month after more than four decades in the classroom.

Nigel Griffiths. Pic: Gary Harbourne

Nigel Griffiths has been principal of Queensway Special School, which has two sites in Telford, since it was opened.

It was originally known as the Jigsaw School. He is poised to retire on July 17 after nearly 15 years at the helm.

Mr Griffiths said: “When you have worked in education for this long, and been at one particular school for so many years, you do have mixed feelings about walking away. But I am proud of the work which has been done here at Queensway which has seen our results improving year on year. And I know I’m leaving behind a fantastic team.”

Originally from Wolverhampton he has worked at eight schools across the region during his career, starting as a teacher of English, drama and PE before moving into behavioural and safeguarding roles.

“Education has changed a lot over the years. In the early days, everything was focused on classroom-based academic achievement, but we now take a much more holistic view,” he said.

“Modern-day schools need to consider both the academic and social side, which means providing support not just for the student, but for their families too. It is also a much more collaborative job these days, working in partnership with other agencies and sharing best practice.”

The Wolverhampton Wanderers FC season ticket holder says he is looking forward to returning to watch matches after lockdown.

“I love all sport, and I also love travel – so I am hoping that I will be able to combine these two during my retirement by following the Wolves into Europe at some point,” he said.

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Dedication

“I also have two very special family occasions to look forward to, as my daughter is expecting a baby later in the year and my son is getting married next year.”

Since 2017 Queensway has been part of the Learning Community Trust, which has six schools across Telford & Wrekin under its wing.

Queensway North caters for the needs of children with autism spectrum condition, while Queensway South – previously known as Mount Gilbert – caters for young people with a social, emotional and mental health diagnosis, autistic spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactive disorder(ADHD).

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Mr Griffiths said: “I’d like to thank all the staff who have supported me over the years to build and maintain a provision of which we can all be proud. Their support has been greatly appreciated.

"There is a real team atmosphere among the Learning Community Trust’s schools – we are able to exchange ideas and views, give advice and support each other.”

Learning Community Trust chief executive Dr Gill Eatough said: “We are all sad to see Nigel go – he has been such a key factor in Queensway’s growth and success over the years.

"But we want to thank him for his dedication and determination to delivering an exciting curriculum which allows students to leave with qualifications which benefit their needs and abilities. We wish him well.”

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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