Headteacher Brian retires after 34 years at school

BY NEWS REPORTER
shuz@slpmedia.co.uk

The head teacher of Clapham Manor Primary School is retiring from his position after 34 years. Brian Hazell is a born and bred Lambeth boy whose great-great grandfather and father were cow keepers on Kennington Common.

He has lived and worked his whole career in the borough and joined Clapham Manor School in 1983 as deputy, and his brilliance was quickly recognised by his meteoric rise to head teacher in 1984.

Over the years he worked hard to transform a poorly-attended school with under 100 children to a now oversubscribed, thriving school.

Now just under 500 primary aged children are on the roll, with an additional 150 in the offsite pre-school and early years provisions.

Under his leadership the school went from strength to strength, achieving Outstanding in its 2007 Ofsted inspection, a grade that has been maintained ever since.  Inspectors stated: “Leadership and management are outstanding because of the excellent guidance and dedication of the head teacher”.

At the core of Brian’s practice is that children achieve most from using their own experiences as the basis for their learning.

He believed that in 1983 and he still believes that now. His vision has been realised through the introduction of a range of innovative and holistic services to support not only the child but the whole family.

Brian has always been at the forefront of Government initiatives, establishing a children’s centre, wraparound childcare for working families, after school enrichment activities, Forest School and the Mayor of London’s Food Flagship Programme.

One of Brian’s greatest achievements was winning the Institute of Education Award for collaborative work with other schools in the community. Five million pounds was raised to deliver services such as Drama Therapy, Shine Saturday School, Reading Recovery and the Gifted and Talented programme, vastly improving the life chances of children across Lambeth.

His high expectations for the teaching and learning environment have led to impressive developments, a multimillion pound extension, an Olympic playground, a food and science laboratory, an artist and chef in residence and the Spinney, a popular environmental education and play centre.

Earlier this year, and in recognition of his lifetime service to education, Brian was awarded a Bachelor of Education Degree (B.Ed.) by the University of Roehampton at the Royal Festival Hall, showing he is an advocate for lifelong learning.

He will be remembered fondly by the whole school community as a passionate, fun and charismatic leader.

Mr Hazell’s daily morning roll call “Five to nine is on time” whilst ringing the hand bell will remain in the memory of the thousands of children and parents who have passed through his hands.

What next? Whilst the school toils on through the English winter, Brian will be sunning himself on his many travels around the world.


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