Head stands down after health scare

With all three of his children living overseas, visiting them will be the National Academy principal’s first job when he stands down at the end of this school year.

Dr John Edwards, who has been at the helm of the Hucknall school for seven years, has taken the tough decision to leave in July after a health scare.

It follows a short absence last year after Dr Edwards underwent emergency life-saving heart surgery.

“I count myself blessed to live through the ordeal,” said Dr Edwards.

“I have mixed feelings over my decision but it is the right thing to do both for my own health and for the school.

“I no longer have the stamina which is needed to be the principal of an academy the size and importance of National.

“To do it justice, the job needs someone who can give it100 per cent. This is what staff give routinely, and I have always tried to give in the past. Now, I no longer feel I can. To do so could harm my health.”

Dr Edwards’ plans for the future not only include visiting his sons in the Philippines and Vietnam and his daughter in Austria where they live, but walking the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage trail in Spain.

“It’s something I would love to do but I’m not leaving education altogether as I am also going to train as an Ofsted inspector which will allow me greater flexibility.”

The 57 year-old praised the school and said he would miss ‘working with young people’ the most.

“The staff are amongst the best, most committed and most hard working that I have had the privilege to work with in a 30 year career in five schools.

“The pupils and students are superb; energetic, friendly, hard working, and generous spirited. I couldn’t ask for better.”

Dr Edwards joined the Annesley Road school in 2007 when it had been given a ‘Notice To Improve’ by Ofsted.

Later that year, the school was judged to be satisfactory.

By January 2010 following another inspection, it achieved a ‘good’ rating.

The current chairman of governors, Kathryn Mitford, said they were thankful for the principal’s commitment.

“We would like to thank Dr Edwards for his hard work and dedication. The school has gone from strength to strength under his leadership and he will be missed.

“We are currently in the process of finding a new principal and we are hoping to recruit someone with vision and Christian values to continue to promote our ethos and build on the hard work that Dr Edwards and the staff have already achieved.”