Stevenage headteacher bows out on a high

THE headteacher of The Barclay School in Stevenage has retired after an entire career teaching at schools in the town.

Janet Beacom has lived in Stevenage for more than 30 years and began her teaching career as a member of the support staff at St Michael’s School in 1985.

In 1987, she moved to The Nobel School to teach history, where she stayed for 11 years.

Mrs Beacom joined The Barclay School in 1998 as director of Key Stage 4.

“It was my ideal job as it combined responsibility for the academic achievement as well as the pastoral care of students in Years 10 and 11,” she explained.


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“When I came to the school for interview I knew that I wanted to work here. There was something about the atmosphere of the school. I think it reflects the very positive relationships there are here between staff and students.”

Shortly after arriving, Mrs Beacom became assistant headteacher and was promoted to deputy headteacher in 2005.

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She was asked to be acting headteacher in January 2007 and was appointed to the post permanently in September 2007.

“Obviously the school has changed a lot during my time here, especially in the way in which we have improved the learning environment and our focus on academic achievement,” said Mrs Beacom.

“However, what is special about the school is its ethos and I am pleased to say that has remained strong throughout.”

She continued: “The highlights I have experienced are all connected with students and their achievements. Obviously this year’s GCSE results count as one of them!

“I also remember many individuals who have achieved against the odds, with the support of the school.”

Another highlight includes the school’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2009.

Mrs Beacom says she is looking forward to spending more time with her three grandchildren and to travelling.

The new headteacher of The Barclay School is Debbie Upton, who has been a deputy principal in Enfield.

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