Head set to retire after 37 years in teaching

Head set to retire after 37 years in teaching

5th January 2015


STAFF past and present gathered to say goodbye to a leading light in education who is set to retire after 37 years in teaching.

Sue Richardson is stepping down as chief executive of the Education Village Academy Trust, Darlington, after successfully pioneering a new way of learning and helping to drive up standards in the town over the past 13 years.

Sue, 59, who qualified as a teacher in 1978, worked in London before coming to The Allertonshire, Northallerton, a high attaining rural school where she headed key stage 3. In 2001 she joined Haughton Secondary School prior to its move to academy status.

Since its inception she has been a keystone of the Education Village Academy Trust (EVAT), which comprises Haughton Academy, Beaumont Hill Academy, Springfield Academy, Gurney Pease Academy and Marchbank Free School, as head teacher of Haughton Academy before becoming interim assistant chief executive and eventually chief executive in 2010.

“I always wanted to be a teacher,” said Sue, a dairy farmer’s daughter originally from Easingwold, who is hoping to spend time travelling, reading and going to the theatre in her retirement.

“I had a passion for my subject English and I loved working with young people. The notion of a learning village was pioneering and the process was exciting and turbulent. It has been the highlight of my career.

“Having children of all ages and needs on one site had never been done before and from day one I knew it was the right decision. When I saw some of our most vulnerable children in the corridors and then the level of care our older children expressed towards them, it was stunning. We also have amazing facilities and being on one site gets over the issue of transition from primary to secondary.

EVAT is an astounding organisation.

“Being chief executive of the Education Village Academy Trust has been an extremely responsible job and one that I have loved doing but its now time to hand over the reigns – and I’m also conscious that there are so many things I still want to do in life.”

Mike Butler, of Nottingham, will take over as new chief executive for the Education Village Academy Trust in March 2015.

A former CEO, he is currently working as an education advisor for the Independent Academies Association. He is interested in motoring, skiing, cycling, cricket and mountaineering.

Chairman of the board of directors of the Education Village Academy Trust Jim O’Neil said: “Sue has been an exceptional leader and has made a huge impact.

She will be greatly missed by all of her colleagues, students and our governing body.”

News in January