Deputy head retires after 37 years at an Upminster school

Hall Mead School deputy headteacher James Brooks with some of the students

Hall Mead School deputy headteacher James Brooks with some of the students - Credit: Archant

A deputy headteacher whose “sound advice and judgement” have helped its school become successful, is retiring after 37 years.

James Brooks, 61, who will be leaving Hall Mead School, in Marlborough Gardens, at the end of this week, said he has “thoroughly enjoyed” teaching at the school.

He joined the school in 1976 and has been a deputy headteacher for 19 years, while also leading technology and the pastoral system at the school.

He said: “It’s an outstanding school with exceptional staff and students.

“I have no doubt that it will continue to be outstanding and improve still further.

“I have considered myself lucky to be part of this very special place.”

He had taught at two school before starting at the Upminster secondary school and said he stayed because he wanted to make the “good” school “outstanding”.

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On Saturday the school held a retirement party for James, inviting ex pupils, staff, and his family and friends.

Headteacher Simon London said James never shied away from teaching or talking to pupils in difficult circumstances.

He added: “But his motivation has always been for pupils to succeed.

“He has Hall Mead running through his veins like the words in a stick of rock and the hours that he has invested in the school can be measured by the hundreds of young people that he has influenced to the good.

“His sound advice and insightful judgement have helped Hall Mead School to become the success it is.

“And his legacy will live long in everything that we do.”