Two long-term staff members to retire from North Herts Education Support Centre

Debbie Ansell (L) and Julie Vernon-Hamilton (R) will leave North Herts Education Support Centre afte

Debbie Ansell (L) and Julie Vernon-Hamilton (R) will leave North Herts Education Support Centre after today. Picture: Kate Robinson - Credit: Archant

Two members of staff with a combined 50 years of experience retired today, marking the end of an era at a North Hertfordshire education support centre.

Headteacher Julie Vernon-Hamilton and business manager Debbie Ansell have given a collective 50 years worth of service at North Herts Education Support Centre, working with some of the county’s most vulnerable children.

Debbie began in June 1993 having initially been appointed as a part-time secretary. She gradually increased her hours and responsibilities, until she became the centre’s business manager and a member of the senior learning team in 2003.

Julie took on the role of headteacher in September 1997. Since then, colleagues say she has worked tirelessly to meet the needs of all students in the care of the centre.

Julie focused on building a provision where students could be given a ‘second-chance’ and succeed. Debbie developed and maintained an ethos in which staff members received any support that they needed.

Debbie said: “My passion for all staff to be treated equally, regardless of their role is incredibly important to me.”

The pair’s hard work paid off, with NHESC being awarded three consecutive ‘Outstanding’ ratings from OFSTED.

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The young people who attend the NHESC are either excluded or at risk of exclusion from local mainstream secondary schools.