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Headteacher thanks parents for help in battle against cuts as he announces plans to step down

Brookfield School begin search for a successor to Mark Stubbings

16 October, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

A HEADTEACHER thanked parents for helping his school fight government education cuts as he announced plans to step down.

Mark Stubbings said he would be leaving Brook­field School in Highgate Newtown after more than a decade in charge. In a letter to parents, he said he was grateful for the way they had responded to financial challenges faced by the primary school.

“I have greatly appreci­ated your friendship and support over the last 10 years, particularly during the restructuring when many of you took up the cause, both locally and nationally, to rally against the government cuts,” he said. The school recently saw 16 new teachers start, with some of the previous staff citing high living costs in London as a barrier to staying long term.

The school received a good Ofsted report earlier this year, despite having to make changes due to smaller budgets. A number of teaching assistants have departed due to the squeeze.

At a public meeting regarding school budgets last year, Mr Stubbings told parents: “I worry for my pupils, I worry for my staff, I worry for the state of education. These are troubling times. We are asked to do more with less.”

Mark Stubbings

Mike Yule, chairman of the school’s governors, told the New Journal: “He showed real leadership to stop the carnage of cuts to budgets. He was brave to speak out against this, and did so openly and repeatedly.”

Linda Starkey-Queen, another governor at the school in Chester Road , said: “He was always very supportive of the teachers, of the NUT and was brave enough to put his head above the parapet.”

A new headteacher has yet to be appointed, although deputy head Laurel Fleck will take on the role during the recruitment process. Mr Stubbings added: “Naturally I am going to be very sad to say goodbye to a community which has played such an enormous part of my life.” He said he plans to have time away from teaching to “pursue personal interests” before taking up a new role.

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