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Headmaster leaves for pastures new

PUBLISHED: 10:34 19 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:03 05 July 2010

ONE of Lowestoft's major campaigners to keep middle schools in Suffolk is leaving his headship behind for a fresh start in Norfolk.

Mark Cresswell, headteacher at Pakefield Middle School said he feels his 'hand has been forced' in the wake of news that Suffolk County Council will complete the reorganisation of education in the town by 2011.

ONE of Lowestoft's major campaigners to keep middle schools in Suffolk is leaving his headship behind for a fresh start in Norfolk.

Mark Cresswell, headteacher at Pakefield Middle School said he feels his 'hand has been forced' in the wake of news that Suffolk County Council will complete the reorganisation of education in the town by 2011.

The 41-year-old has always been a huge activist for keeping a three tier system, instead of the planned primary and secondary provisions.

Now, as the Pakefield Middle School site is being headhunted as the new high school in Lowestoft, Mr Cresswell said its time to move on.

He said: “I'm looking forward to a new challenge, I'm just very sad that I am leaving. When I first started I was looking at it as a 10 year plan, but education has changed so dramatically. I feel a bit reticent but it's something I have got to do.”

Mr Cresswell is going to Avenue Junior School in Norwich, which he says is the closest to a middle school he could get.

“It's for year's three to seven, so that's seven to 11 year olds and it's still retained a lot of facilities that middle schools have.

“I was appointed in the summer, so my staff have known for a long time. It's very sad that my hand was forced in this way. I can see where the county are coming from and we have now got to get on with it.

Mr Cresswell was educated at Cheetham School of Music in Manchester and after three years he went on to do his PGCE in music and maths in Wakefield.

He went on to work in Huntington, Uplands School in Sudbury and for 10 years at Roman Hill Middle School, before taking over as headteacher of Pakefield Middle School in Kilbourn Road five years ago.

“I just knew the area and had a little bit of knowledge about the school. Middle schools have been my career and my life. The staff have always been behind me and the governors have made my job a lot easier.”

During his time at Pakefield Middle School Mr Cresswell has been involved in work to modernise both the building and the curriculum.

His attitude to teaching has always been applauded by parents and governors, especially during the recent school reorganisation process where he spoke out many times in defence of middle schools.

“I've always said what I felt and where I'm coming from, I've had many frank discussions with the county and we may not like each others points of view, but it's important I put them across.”

Mr Cresswell is holding a leaving party at the Waveney House Hotel in Beccles tonight, while his pupils had an assembly for him yesterday.

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