Backwell headteacher retires after 15 years
PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 July 2016
A headteacher who has dedicated his life to making a difference in children's lives is retiring this month.
Julian Baldwin has been at Backwell School for 15 years – albeit five years as the deputy headteacher.
He said: “I’ve spent 10 fantastic years as headteacher at Backwell School and I wouldn’t have swapped them for the world.
“I’m looking forward to a new phase in my life, but I’m very sad to leave a fantastic school, fantastic students and fantastic staff.
“It’s been a fantastic 15 years.”
Mr Baldwin decided he wanted to be a teacher after he left university.
He said: “I wanted to do a job that made a positive difference in people’s lives.”
He has been doing that ever since.
Mr Baldwin has clocked up many successes over the years – under his leadership Backwell School has become one of Britain’s best performing comprehensive schools at GCSE and A-level.
The school has been judged outstanding by Ofsted in the past two inspections and Mr Baldwin was one of 30 experts chosen by the Department for Education to visit China to find out what Britain can learn from its teaching practices.
He has also been leading calls for better funding for schools in rural areas.
Despite his many successes, Mr Baldwin lists the highlights of his career as the positive changes he witnesses in pupils’ lives.
He said: “The highlights happen every day – when you are with a student and you see the look of delight or quiet pride when they get an answer right, or play a fantastic piece of music or produce a brilliant piece or art work. It’s a great feeling.
“Young people have all sorts of challenges – it’s not easy growing up. Another highlight is when a pupil has gone through difficult times and come out happy and successful and you’ve helped in getting them through it.”
Mr Baldwin puts the school’s success down to focusing on each individual.
He said: “Education is about making a difference to individual people.
“You don’t go into education to get outstanding Ofsted inspections or brilliant school results.
“You can only achieve that by helping every single child and as long as they are happy and successful everything falls into place.”
Mr Baldwin is looking forward to having some spare time to read and study during his retirement, but intends to work in education in a support and advisory role.
He is also hoping to carry out some charity work by supporting teachers in developing countries.
Jon Nunes – currently the deputy head at Backwell School – will take over as interim headteacher.
He has worked at the school for 20 years teaching history and has also served as head of house and head of sixth form.
Mr Baldwin said: “He completely understands Backwell. He will be a great successor.
“I will stay in touch with Backwell School initially and work to support Jon but I still intend to come back for concerts and exam presentations because, having worked with the children for four or five years, you just don’t walk away.
“I’ve built up relationships with pupils and I want to keep up those relationships.”