A DEDICATED headteacher who is stepping down next year has insisted he is not done with the school yet.
Simon Mason joined Honywood School in Coggeshall in September 2002.
The school in Westfield Drive has only had two different leaders since January 1977.
After 15 years Mr Mason has decided to leave in April 2018, for personal reasons.
He said: “A huge improvement at the school is the development of character.
“The children can communicate, problem solve, and they are respectful.
“What has been particularly rewarding is knowing people have positively engaged with the school.
“Some are now employed here, it’s a positive feeling that young people have come through the school and have a real sense of it being a special part of their lives.”
Mr Mason has been teaching since 1986 and came from a deputy head post at a school in Rayleigh.
He said: “When I started it was a traditional, successful school, but they do not always work for everybody.
“What we have been trying to do is make sure the curriculum is tailored to every individual child’s needs.
“I think we have gone a long way towards achieving that.”
The school was given funding to create a facility to improve learning for students on the Autism Spectrum last year.
Students have continued to excel and have produced record results year on year.
Mr Mason spoke out with concerns about the new Attainment 8 grading system last year, saying it was a misrepresentation of the pupils’ efforts.
The school also came into the limelight in 2015 following iPad ‘grooming’ claims.
Police investigated reports of pupils being groomed or sent indecent images on their school iPads.
The school had handed each of its pupils a £400-plus iPad for learning.
Despite the ups and downs, Mr Mason still has a year at the school and said he will continue to pursue the goals they have been working towards.
He said: “We are not done yet.
“We want to get even better at the core of what we are about, which is delivering the right educational provision for children.
“Another objective is the transition to new leadership and make sure I do everything in my power to make that transition as smooth as it can be.”
He said his focus in life when he leaves will become his family, and he will take care of them with the same level of determination and energy.
He had some advice for the headteacher who takes his place.
He said: “Make sure you enjoy every moment, look at every situation with fresh eyes every day.
“Every single young person you meet is a new opportunity to succeed.”