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Bishop's Stortford High School mourns passing of inspirational head Ian Shaw




Ian Shaw back at TBSHS in 2013 with chairman of governors Alan Fordham and acting head Paul Noble (7988656)
Ian Shaw back at TBSHS in 2013 with chairman of governors Alan Fordham and acting head Paul Noble (7988656)

Tributes have been paid to the man who transformed The Bishop’s Stortford High School from a bleak secondary modern to an institution with a prestigious reputation.

Former headteacher Ian Shaw died on Monday, March 18 aged 83. His funeral will take place in the North East on Monday April 1, with the possibility of a service of thanksgiving in Bishop's Stortford.

He was at the helm of the London Road school from 1980 to 1998 and is credited with “creating an ethos which has transcended time”.

Current head Dale Reeve said: “Ian Shaw made a great effort to stay in touch with the school and so many of the staff he worked alongside for 18 years.

"He was the guest speaker at our awards evening just before I joined the school and was delighted to attend our annual rugby dinner a couple of years ago, where he reminisced with great fondness about his time at TBSHS.

“His passion for the school and his desire to see it continue to flourish have never diminished, even 20 years after retiring. He has left an incredible legacy, for which I am truly grateful. Our thoughts are with his wife, Barbara, and all of the family at this most difficult of times.”

Paul Noble, who was appointed deputy head by Mr Shaw in 1982, said: “He had a clear vision of what an all-ability school could be and a determination to make sure his vision was realised.

“To raise the academic profile of the school, two things above all else were needed. First, the school needed to attract pupils from the full ability range, and secondly, to teach them, energetic and well-qualified staff were required.

"There was a vital third: he made sure he was known to the students on an individual basis – he knew every student by name throughout the school!”

Mr Shaw was instrumental in the high school acquiring playing fields at Jobbers Wood on the B1004 Great Hadham Road between Bishop's Stortford and Much Hadham.

Mr Noble said: “He believed that students can share in a wealth of sporting, dramatic, musical, aesthetic, spiritual, cultural, international and social experiences and achieve well beyond the confines of the classroom.

"In order to compete with the best schools in the country, the school should provide additional energy and focus to providing opportunities for students to develop personal interests, take on roles of responsibility and leadership and to become involved in the wider life of the school.

“The school he created has stood the test of time, providing a genuine climate of learning so that students come to school expecting to learn, to succeed, to develop exciting talents, to discover hidden ones and to contribute to the enhancement of a unique school community.”

A service of thanksgiving for Mr Shaw's life is expected to be organised at St Michael’s Church in Windhill in due course.

His funeral service will take place at Darlington Crematorium on Monday, April 1 at 1.45pm, followed by a gathering in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.

His family have asked for donations in his name to World Vision and the York-based Emma Maltby Memorial Fund, which improves the lives of adults, children and teenage cancer patients.

Ian Shaw, back, and deputy heads Paul Noble, left, and Roger Cooke with students in 1991 (7988654)
Ian Shaw, back, and deputy heads Paul Noble, left, and Roger Cooke with students in 1991 (7988654)

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