26 Jun '14

News Simon Richards obituary

My friend Simon Richards, who has died aged 54 after living with kidney cancer for 10 years, always maintained an impressive balance of openness and realism about his condition. He never allowed it to interfere with his appetite for life; his only persistent regret apart from the impact of his illness on his family was that it prevented him from taking up a headship at Gosforth Academy, Newcastle upon Tyne, where he had worked since 2001 as deputy head. It was a role in which he would doubtless have excelled.Simon's strong sense of social justice drove him towards a career in teaching, and it was a given that he would work within the state sector. He taught at Audenshaw high school, Manchester, from 1989, becoming head of history and subsequently head of sixth form, before joining Gosforth Academy. Even when we first met, as undergraduates, it was obvious to me that he was teacher material. As well as his enthusiasm and passion for history, the fact that he was not a natural academic and had to work hard for his achievements made him even more effective as a teacher and pupil advocate. Continue reading...

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