Potters Bar headteacher pays tribute to community ahead of retirement

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 July 2019

Mount Grace headteacher Peter Baker. Picture credit: Bill Soens

Mount Grace headteacher Peter Baker. Picture credit: Bill Soens

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A Potters Bar headteacher has thanked parents, staff and governors for their support ahead of his retirement at the end of term.

Headteacher Peter Baker outside Mount Grace School in 2010Headteacher Peter Baker outside Mount Grace School in 2010

Peter Baker will step down from the role at Mount Grace School next week after 13 years at the helm.

The school's governors have announced the appointment of Nancy Simpson as the new head, who will take over from Mr Baker in September.

Reflecting on his time at the school, Mr Baker said: "When I took over it was in a challenging position, it had five or six headteachers in as many years.

"I've been very lucky to enjoy a great deal of support from the community and a particularly loyal set of parents.

Headteacher Peter Baker outside Mount Grace School in 2010Headteacher Peter Baker outside Mount Grace School in 2010

"A good strong governing body has been very important - they helped settle the school after some turbulent times. I'd like to thank former chair of governers Barbara Brilliant, and current chair of governers Colin Daniel.

"His support has been outstanding, he does lots of work behind the scenes and rarely receives the recognition he deserves."

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Mr Baker was due to retire in December, but decided to stand down at the end of the academic year to make the transition for the new head and students as smooth as possible.

Listing some of the highlights of his tenure, he said: "There have been some fantastic gala evenings, brilliant dramas like this year's Little Shop of Horrors production and the annual trip to Herts Young Mariners Base with the new Year 7s was always fun and a great opportunity to get to know them.

"Most memorably I ran the London Marathon in April in 2012 and, while I was training for the marathon, the students ran in relay with us in February.

"Myself and two collegues ran over 20 miles, and each of the students ran three or four miles stints along side us. That was great."

Mount Grace School has recently been on an upward trend, after being taken out of special measures by Ofsted earlier this year.

READ MORE: Potters Bar school out of special measures after Ofsted success

Mr Baker added: "We became an academy in 2011, and have since raised millions for projects - 1.1 million in the past two years.

"There's also a new £2.5m sports hall which should be there in the next few years, with building to hopefully start next spring.

"My work here is done and I'm happy to hand over the reigns - Nancy is a safe pair of hands to pass it on to."

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