Bishop Bell headteacher Terry Boatwright is to retire this summer after 18 years at the helm.
He will leave at the end of the summer term after turning the school around to make it one of the most popular and high-achieving schools in the country despite several high profile controversies including the case of maths teacher Jeremy Forrest, who was jailed for running away to France with one of his pupils, former chair of governors Gordon Rideout who is behind bars for sex offences against children and teaching assistant Robert Healy who was also jailed after having sex with two pupils.
Mr Boatwright took over as headteacher in January 1996 when the school was struggling, unpopular, undersubscribed and OFSTED described it as having serious weaknesses.
Announcing his retirement to staff, pupils and parents last week Mr Boatwright said, “In 1996 I believed two things when I took up the headship: firstly, that God had called me here; and, secondly, that He had great plans for the school.
“Eighteen years on, I remain convinced I was called here and know that, despite some very difficult times recently, we have all seen the great things which God has done here. As I announce my retirement, I am convinced again of two things: firstly, that God has called me to do this; and, secondly, that He has even more amazing things planned for the future of this school.”
Bishop Bell is the only school in England where examination results have improved for 14 consecutive years and currently has 1,040 pupils, double the number it had in 1996.
Mr Boatwright was named executive head of both Stafford and Causeway and also shortlisted for the National Leadership Trust Teaching Award for School Leadership in 2002, 2005 and 2006. In addition, in March 2012, the National College for Teaching and Leadership, appointed Mr Boatwright as a National Leader of Education to join a group of successful headteachers used by the Government to help raise educational standards across the country.