Howard Blindt said goodbye to pupils at Gainford CofE Primary School,in Teesdale, on Friday after 15 years at the helm
A successful headteacher resigned after deciding getting himself off the payroll was the only way to balance the books at his award winning school.
Howard Blindt said goodbye to pupils at Gainford CofE Primary School, in Teesdale, on Friday after 15 years at the helm.
Mr Blindt said he took the difficult decision to resign over Government cuts to the school’s budget which will see it lose £53,045, or £680 per pupil by 2021.
The 54-year-old made the decision at the same time as Nick Gibb, Minister for School Standards, wrote to him to praise the primary school for being in the top one per cent in England for their writing achievement.
Mr Blindt, of Belmont, Durham, said the school could be seen as ‘a victim of our own success’ and his resignation was the only way he could ‘ease the funding issues at the school’ while keeping on the experienced staff.
He said: ‘If I didn’t leave it looked likely that I would need to make more posts redundant in the school for the forthcoming year – we lost two teaching assistants in April 2017.
‘It is less likely that this will recur in the following year. My decision allows the rest of the staffing to be maintained for now – it is not sufficient to appoint new posts.’
He will be succeeded by deputy headteacher, Chris Riley, who will take on the role on a lower pay point which has also allowed the school to hire a newly qualified teacher.
Mr Blindt said he took the decision to resign over Government cuts to the school’s budget which will see it lose £53,045, or £680 by 2021. Pictured: Gainford CofE Primary School
Mr Blindt said: ‘I hope that these savings will allow there to be a better level of provision for children at this school.’
The Department for Education said more money is being invested in schools.
It said: ‘Fairer schools funding – backed by £1.3bn additional investment -will deliver the biggest improvement to the school funding system for well over a decade.
‘It will mean an increase in the basic amount that every pupil will get, protected funding for those with high needs and will ensure every local authority is in a position to give schools a cash increase through the new formula.
Mr Blindt has spent more than 30 years in the profession and taught about 300 pupils at Gainford alone
‘This means that, with teachers and schools across the country, we can continue to raise standards and give every child the best possible education, and the best opportunities for the future.’
Mr Blindt, who has spent more than 30 years in the profession and taught about 300 pupils at Gainford alone, said he would be sad to leave his post and has no firm plans about what to do next.
As part of the Year 6 leavers’ service on Tuesday, Mr Blindt shared some of his memories of his time as headteacher.
‘I have so many fond memories of Gainford CofE Primary School that it is difficult to know where to start,’ he said.
‘There have been some difficult times and some sad times too but let’s not think about those now. But, yes, I did need those broad shoulders I claimed to have at my interview.’
Mr Blindt recollected how animals played a big part in the school as they had unexpected visits from peacocks, sheep, a chicken that he had to chase around the infant yard and a greyhound that invaded parents evening which he had to create a makeshift lead for from his own tie while he looked for its owner.
He added: ‘I am looking forward to a bit of a rest; visiting some new places in my motorhome and doing lots of gardening.
‘I am looking forward to some long walks in the country and finding some new and different things to do with my time.
‘I am looking forward to keeping in touch with the folk at our school and making sure that everyone is still learning happily together on life’s journey.’