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Happy Retirement

First Word... From Sue Peach, Chair of Governors

From The Weekly Word

Voume 25 - Number 14 - 17th December 2021

And so we come to the end of an era!

Peter Kent is retiring having seen off 5 Chairs of Governors and many more governors who gave their time willingly to Lawrence Sheriff. I believe that everyone of these governors had enormous respect for Peter and his leadership of the school.

Under his leadership there have been many changes. The school became an academy and girls were admitted into the sixth form. It became a well-respected National Teaching School and as a result of that fine work was named as the Teaching School Hub for Coventry and Warwickshire. As governors we bathed in the reflected glory of the accolades. Of course Peter in his trademark modest way would say that all the changes only happened because of the Governors approving them. Codswallop! They happened because Peter had the foresight, knowledge, and understanding of the hoops that had to be jumped through and impressed the governors with his passion for taking the school forward.

Ian Nichol, who was a vice chair of governors for several years before moving out of the area, tells me that Peter made him cry every single year with his speeches on Remembrance Day. They brought tears to my eyes too. It was a privilege to attend these ceremonies. Ian also maintains that “Peter and Lorraine (Peter’s PA) could run the entire country, let alone Sheriff, a lot better than our current leaders, and still have time left over to make tea for everyone.”

Ian also hopes that Peter’s photo will appear at the top of this Weekly Word as it did so from 2001, when the first Weekly Word appeared, but disappeared in June 2003. Having seen an early photo of Peter in the last Weekly Word I would say that it looks as if he is just slowly fading like the Cheshire cat and I expect that Peter’s smile will also be the last to go.

Anthony Thomas, who was the Chair before me says, “I would like to express my thanks for his outstanding leadership of Lawrence Sheriff. He is an inspirational leader, a caring man with a commitment to a better education for all students.

Dennis Barnett who taught at the Sheriff for many years and is now a Governor writes: “Peter is a truly outstanding headteacher with a well-deserved reputation as a local, regional and national professional. From the outset, Peter’s collegiate style meant that he was able to take the staff with him, not simply by leading from the front but by placing his trust in the staff and involving them in change, inspiring them to have the highest expectations of students - he never would ask anyone to do something that he wouldn’t do himself and was always, "prepared to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in with everyone else”.

Paula Whitfield, a parent and Chair of the Audit Committee has commented, ‘My association as a parent over the past 10 years, with my 2nd son currently in year 13, has been exceptional and I am so grateful that the school has shaped my boys into lovely young adults.” She added, “As a governor, I have always been impressed with Peter’s calmness and resilience and how his leadership has inspired others. I will miss his considered thinking.”

And so farewell, Dr Peter Kent, the longest serving Head of Lawrence Sheriff. You will be missed by students, staff, parents and governors. We wish you the best of retirements.

Sue Peach

Chair of Governors

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