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Retired teacher who dedicated 50 years to Robert Clack officially opens building named in his honour

PUBLISHED: 18:06 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:06 05 July 2019

L-R: Robert Clack headteacher, Russell Taylor, with former deputy, Mick Fox MBE, as he cuts the ribbon to officially open a new block named after him. Picture: Daniel Bentum Ocran

L-R: Robert Clack headteacher, Russell Taylor, with former deputy, Mick Fox MBE, as he cuts the ribbon to officially open a new block named after him. Picture: Daniel Bentum Ocran

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A retired maths teacher who has dedicated 50 years to the same school has officially opened a building named in his honour.

The Mick Fox Building was officially opened today. Picture: Daniel Bentum OcranThe Mick Fox Building was officially opened today. Picture: Daniel Bentum Ocran

Mick Fox MBE cut a red ribbon at the entrance to The Mick Fox Building at Robert Clack Upper in Gosfield Road, Dagenham, on Friday.

Mick said: "It's a little bit overwhelming. It's such a nice thing to do. It's a very special occasion, especially to have my family here as well. It's just been a brilliant day really."

The 71-year-old was joined outside the new maths and English block by his wife, Brenda, sons Simon and Richard, daughters-in-law Samantha and Liz, sister Jan and brother-in-law Robin. About 50 staff were there too to applaud their much-treasured former colleague.

The secondary's current headteacher, Russell Taylor, delivered a speech in praise of the former Barking Abbey pupil who arrived at Robert Clack in 1969 aged 21 and went on to become a head of sixth form, deputy and business manager.

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"Mick always did what was in the best interests of the school he served. He led by example. He's a man of real character," Russell said.

He then read comments made in support of Mick's 1984 application to become a deputy which said: "Robert Clack requires senior staff who are able to feel sympathy with pupils but at the same time realise the potential they have even though the pupils and their parents don't know this.

"Michael Fox has this awareness. Robert Clack would be devastated if he was not there."

Since retiring for the second time in July 2015, Mick, who lives in Chelmsford, has enjoyed travelling, supporting his favourite cricket team, Essex, and gardening.

But it's always great to return to the school he dedicated his working life to and see the progress it's made since starting at Robert Clack Technical School, which then had about 650 pupils. The school now has almost 2,000.

After a tour of the two-storey block, a grateful Mick said: "It's a lovely building. The facilities are great. The youngsters are lucky to have it. I would love to have taught here."

Russell summed it up: "It is only right the most impressive addition to the school is named after our most impressive colleague."

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