Retiring governor gives Neale-Wade encouraging words as he steps down

A RETIRING governor at March’s Neale-Wade Community College bowed out by praising the school he served for nearly 50 years in its battle to haul itself out of special measures.

Mike Ogden said he was “pleased and proud” to have been a governor at the school since 1965 during its turbulent journey from a Grammar School and High School to a comprehensive which is now in special measures.

As he was presented with a plaque to commemorate his years of exceptional service, the former Conservative County Councillor backed teachers in their bid to turn the struggling school around, saying: “The staff do a wonderful job and work so hard.”

The 79-year-old said the key to Neale-Wade’s future success would be getting pupils interested in education - by making full use of modern technology such as iPads.

“I hope a lot more parents will be able to buy their children iPads because it is imperative their success,” he said.

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“The secret in education is to get pupils interested in the subjects which they are learning.”

Fenland’s largest secondary school has recently been criticised after March 2012’s Ofsted report which said it was inadequate - but parents have rallied round new principal Jason Wing after he was described as a “breath of fresh air”.

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Mr Ogden became a governor at the school he had attended as a child during the Second World War after training under his father to be a chartered surveyor.

When he was elected to the County Council in 1972, he was a governor at seven Fenland schools including Isle College, Hereward School and Westwood School.

He was forced to reduce the number of governing bodies he sat on to four and finally two but continued to serve at Neale-Wade until the end-of-term last week.

Over that time he was witness profound changes in education, such as the introduction of the comprehensive system, the start of the National Curriculum and most recently the long-awaited investment of the Building Schools for the Future programme.

However he said that the role of governor has remained essentially the same.

“You have got to be interested in education and take an interest in what’s happening in the school,” he added.

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