Tributes paid to former education chief who was borough’s first director of children’s services

Tributes have flowed after the passing of well-loved former education chief Roger Luxton. Picture: B

Tributes have flowed after the passing of well-loved former education chief Roger Luxton. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid after the death of a well-loved education chief, who was also the borough’s first director of children’s services.

Roger Luxton served the council - including as deputy chief executive - throughout the 1990s until his retirement in 2009.

During his 19 years at the council, he was heavily involved in the development of Jo Richardson Community School - designed from the inside out starting with the classroom - and the creation of Trinity School in Dagenham.

Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, cabinet member for educational attainment and school improvement, said: “Roger led a step change in the council’s expectations and ambitions for its children and young people.

“It was in the role of principal adviser that he made perhaps the greatest contribution to primary education, challenging some traditional practices of teaching in England which were not serving the children at Barking and Dagenham.”

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“Roger believed absolutely and fundamentally that a strong and enduring partnership between the council and schools is, and continues to be, the best way to support opportunity, ambition and achievement for all the children and young people who live and go to school here.

Cllr Carpenter added: “His legacy is that Barking and Dagenham has continued its commitment to that partnership.

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“He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family.”

In 1999, Mr Luxton was recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours and awarded an OBE for services to education standards.

Mr Luxton took on the role of director of eduction, arts and libraries in 2002 and became director for children’s services and deputy chief executive of the council four years later.

Key projects he implemented include the building schools for the future programme.

After his retirement, he was awarded the Freedom of the Borough.

Former council leader Alderman Charles Fairbrass also paid tribute to Mr Luxton.

He said: “During my years as chairman of the education committee, I had the privilege of working with two outstanding chief officers – Roger Luxton was one of those. His devotion for the young people and staff in education was outstanding.”

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