School’s out for headteacher next Easter after 34 years at middle

Valley Gardens Middle School headteacher Michael Homer with pupils Matthew Wilson, Holly Horton, Freddie Sharpe, Isobelle Wade, Jack Roys, Millie Newton, Amelia Tilterton, Joshua Nixon.
Valley Gardens Middle School headteacher Michael Homer with pupils Matthew Wilson, Holly Horton, Freddie Sharpe, Isobelle Wade, Jack Roys, Millie Newton, Amelia Tilterton, Joshua Nixon.
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A headteacher is about to end his 34-year career at a North Tyneside school.

Michael Homer started teaching at Valley Gardens Middle School in Whitley Bay in April 1982 as head of geography.

It will be a massive wrench to leave the Valley Gardens community at Easter.

Michael Homer, headteacher

He became deputy headteacher in 1991 before taking over the role of headteacher in 2003.

Now, however, Mr Homer has announced plans to retire at Easter next year.

During his time as headteacher of the Monkseaton school, he has overseen it rise from being rated as satisfactory by Office for Standards in Education inspectors in 2005 to outstanding across all areas in 2013.

Mr Homer, a keen advocate of the three-tier educational system, said: “It will be a massive wrench to leave the Valley Gardens community at Easter.

“It’s immensely rewarding every day to help our pupils achieve their full potential in life. The school is in very good shape and is secure in the hands of its excellent staff and governors.

“I felt the time was right. I want to do some other things. I want to travel and do other things, some of them to do with education.

“I have seen a lot of students and a lot of change in my time.

“It’s been an absolute joy and privilege to teach in a school like this.”

Mr Homer has also organised many extra-curricular activities and emphasised the importance of recognising and developing each child’s own abilities.

He has implemented inclusive policies at the school for many years and also helped secure additional funds to assist pupils with moderate learning difficulties.

Mr Homer added: “While the high academic achievements of our pupils are important, I am privileged to have been able to contribute to widening the school curriculum and to recognising the needs of each and every child.”