THE chairman of governors at the Burgate School has resigned after more than 15 years in the role.

John Galliford first became a school governor in 1998 and was appointed chairman of the 18-strong team in 2006.

In his letter of resignation Mr Galliford said he felt very privileged to have been chairman during a six-year period of “significant development and progress”.

He said: “Having re-enforced our commitment to improve the levels of literacy of our pupils and students by becoming a Humanities and English College in 2008, we subsequently welcomed the opportunity to convert to an academy in May 2011, thus providing us with even greater autonomy in the running of our affairs together with some additional funding.

“Along the way we opened the stunning new building to extend the facilities in our very successful sixth form and undertook numerous other capital expenditure projects.”

Mr Galliford first became involved with the school as a parent and has seen many changes, not least in helping to appoint headteacher David Pover when Celia Nicholls retired after 23 years in 2011.

Jenny Hair will replace Mr Galliford as chairman. She was elected as a parent governor in 2006 and has had three children go to the school.

Mr Galliford added: “Both personally and professionally I know now is the right time to be handing over the reins to my successor Jenny Hair, who will be the first lady chairman to lead the Burgate School and Sixth Form.”

Mr Pover said: “On behalf of the school I would like to thank Mr Galliford for the enormous contribution he has made to the development of the Burgate over the past 15 years.

“He has been unwavering in his hard work and dedication to the school, much of which goes on behind the scenes. During the past six years he has been heavily involved in the various initiatives that have seen teaching and learning at the Burgate become more dynamic and engaging than ever before.

“His resignation is obviously a loss to the school.

“However, I am pleased to announce that his successor Mrs Hair is a lady of considerable experience and I look forward to working with her on the numerous exciting projects to develop the Burgate even further in coming years.”