The headteacher at one of the biggest schools in West Sussex says he is ‘extremely sad to leave’.
Chris Taylor, who served as headteacher at Steyning Grammar School for four years, says he will ‘miss immensely’ the students, but felt ‘privileged’ to have worked there. He thanked staff, students, parents and governors for making his time ‘memorable’.
Diagnosed with prostate cancer last November, Mr Taylor will be heading back to his Northern roots where his family are based.
He said: “I had hoped to stay longer at the school which is becoming one of the best in the country and I will be extremely sad to leave.
“However I must look after my health and, in the context that I do not know how well or poorly I will be in the future, the honourable thing to do is to step down given that a school as good as this deserves a full-time fully functioning headteacher.”
After 33 years in teaching and 14 years as a headteacher in three different schools, Mr Taylor will step down in September.
“It has been a privilege to work here with such positive, independent and engaged students whom I will miss immensely.
“My memories of Steyning Grammar will be extremely positive, particularly as the school is now poised to develop some interesting and forward thinking approaches to learning.
“I have learned a great deal whilst at the school as a result of the financial challenges that we have faced and the cultural changes that we have embraced.
“I am confident that the new headteacher will lead the school with skill and enthusiasm in continuing to ensure that every person is the best that they can be.”
At the recent sixth form dinner, Sally Randall, Director of Sixth Form and Assistant Headteacher, said Mr Taylor had a ‘real strength of inner character’.
She said: “Chris has always shown unflinching and intellectual honesty.
“He is by nature competitive and has a real strength of inner character.
“He has a presence and an aura and a way with people. He galvanised people.
“His self confidence has reflected back on the team.”
The new headteacher, Mr Nick Wergan, will start this September.