Search

Adopted Londoner helped to turn comprehensive into top Barking and Dagenham school

11:30 18 May 2011

Roger Leighton

Roger Leighton

Archant

Roger Leighton has been the headteacher of Sydney Russell Comprehensive School in Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham, for 15 years. Roger was born in Kendal, Cumbria, brought up in Brighton and now lives in Lewisham, south-east London.

It had always been my plan to live and work in London, because I loved the pace and variety of city life.

I moved here in 1977 and have stayed ever since.

I like to think of myself, therefore, as an “honorary” Londoner.

Lewisham has been my home for the last 23 years, where I have brought up two children who have now pretty much “flown the nest”.

In my spare time I am a season ticket holder at Charlton – sorry, Daggers – and enjoy cinema, theatre, jazz, opera, travel and walking.

After working as a teacher, head of department and deputy head in Lewisham, Balham, Clapham and Redbridge, I was given the fantastic opportunity of leading Sydney Russell in 1996.

It has been a privilege and a pleasure for me to have worked in the borough for 15 years as headteacher of Sydney Russell School.

This has been an eventful, at times exhausting, but always rewarding experience.

Back in 1996, Sydney Russell was not popular among parents, the buildings were neglected and exam results put it at the bottom of the borough league table.

Now, the school’s exam results put it in the top three in Barking and Dagenham, we are over-subscribed for Year 7 pupils and we have just begun a £25million rebuilding project, which will give us the best classrooms in the country by 2012.

In my time here, I have grown to love the borough and its increasingly diverse community, to appreciate the pride which Barking and Dagenham quite rightly has in its past and traditions and to understand the buzz about the exciting possibilities for the future.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 18:00
Dagenham & Redbridge manager Wayne Burnett (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO)

Victoria Road manager revealed club sold youngster to Championship team last month

Yesterday, 16:00
Pete Ward (Rugby Manager at Dallaglio Foundation), Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE (Trustee of the DofE), Terry Marner (Chairman of Barking RFC) and Gerald Mansfield (President of Barking RFC) at the presentation evening at St James's Palace

Special honour for Gale Street club.

Yesterday, 15:00
Dagenham & Redbridge manager Wayne Burnett (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO)

Manager’s switch from usual tactics pays dividends and moves them up one place to 21st in the League Two table

Yesterday, 16:54
Chris Naylor, inset, is the new full-time chief exec at Barking and Dagenham Council

Barking and Dagenham Council has picked a new full-time chief executive to replace Graham Farrant, whose part-time role was axed earlier this year.

Most read

Up to 3,000 people took to the streets of London in vigils for Mike Brown which turned into a protest march down Oxford Street.

The NHS have introduced a new pill for those who struggle to screw the lid back on that bottle of wine.

Today the doctor has received an eight-year sentence for a string of offences.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Barking and Dagenham Post e-edition today E-edition