Inspirational headteacher leaves Chichester school

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A headteacher who has inspired great change at a Chichester school has decided to move on to pastures new.

Bob Griffin, of St Anthony’s School, announced to everyone his departure at the end of term.

“The headteacher’s job is a tough job and it can be very lonely at times. But it was still very enjoyable,” said Mr Griffin.

“What I wanted to do was leave on a high while I was still enjoying it, rather than leaving past my 
sell-by date.”

Mr Griffin joined the school as the deputy head in 1985 after teaching at a school in Portsmouth.

He added: “When I came for an interview, Woodlands Lane by the school wasn’t developed and I stopped and asked three people about it. The first person hadn’t even heard of the school. That had a huge impact on me.”

He became headteacher in March 2006. He said this came after what seemed like a long apprenticeship under the previous head, Toby Salt, and he was ready to go for it when the time came.

Mr Griffin said there has been a massive change in attitude towards special needs since he joined St Anthony’s. Expectations of pupils were at first low, but have turned around to be high.

Several pupils this year left with GCSEs and in May 2010, the school received an outstanding status from Ofsted.

The 115 staff help to cater for all of the 200 pupils’ individual needs.

Mr Griffin praised his ‘fantastic’ staff and said he had left the school in a ‘healthy position’.

“Our aim here is for children to reach their potential, at an academic, social and emotional level. Children’s achievements never fail to amaze me.”

From September Mr Griffin will be working with the University of Chichester to help train teachers.