Happy retirement Mr Long! Mirfield school pays tribute to ‘exceptional’ departing Headteacher
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Mr Long’s teaching career started in 1989 after successfully completing his training at the University College of Northampton before taking his first role as a newly qualified teacher at All Saints Primary School in Wellingborough.
He then moved across town to work at Ruskin Academy Junior and Infant before taking on his first headship at Rawcliffe in York.
Two other stints as a head followed at Haxby Road, also in York, and Aspin Park in Knaresborough, before joining the Wellhouse Lane setting in 2019, just a few months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A spokesperson for Crossley Fields said:
“We’ve had four fantastic years with Nick at the helm, leading us calmly and carefully through some challenging COVID times and beyond. Our school has gone from strength to strength under his guidance.
“When he first arrived, he described his leadership style as ‘steady and level’ and that has certainly been true. He has ensured a calm, supportive atmosphere for children and staff alike – where everyone can thrive. This was reflected in our good and outstanding grades in the five key areas when Ofsted visited in December.
“He has put so much in place to ensure the success of the school and the children who attend, and it really has been a pleasure to work with him.”
A passionate Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter, Mr Long was renowned for his generosity throughout the school as he delivered weekly sweet treats to deserving children, as well as for his memorable assemblies and commentary on sports day.
Pupils at the school have praised the departing head.
Myla Stallworthy, in Year 6, said: “Mr Long is an exceptional head teacher. He’s always willing to make us smile.”
Esme Morn, from Year 3, added: “I like what he has done for the school. He has really encouraged us all and I think that we should respect him for that. We’ll really miss him a lot.”
Reception pupil Kinzah Hussain also said: “He makes me laugh and gives me hot chocolate!”
Mr Long’s colleagues at the Mirfield school have described him as a “kind and thoughtful” leader.
Tyler Spencer, a Year 5 teacher, commented, “It has been a pleasure to work with someone so thoughtful, kind and calm,” while Khadija Chohan in the Key Stage 1 office said, “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Mr Long. Hot chocolate will never be the same again! He is considerate, calm and very professional.”
Nicci Cooney, a teaching assistant and parent of a child in Year 6, also said: “Mr Long welcomed my son with open arms when he joined Crossley Fields this year and he has had the happiest year at school. We will be forever grateful.”
And while keen sportsman Mr Long, who will be replaced by two of his deputies - Nic Shepherd and Louise Howard - when the new academic year starts in September, is looking forward to spending more time on the golf course after he leaves education on Friday, July 21, he simply said of his legacy at Crossley Fields: “I just want children to enjoy being at school and to reach their full potential.”
We wish Mr Long a very happy retirement.