THE headmaster of Battle Abbey School is set to bow out tomorrow (Saturday) after 15 years in charge.
The school has gone from strength to strength under Roger Clark’s leadership, during which time Battle Abbey has seen some big changes.
Mr Clark said: “The school has doubled in numbers.
“The academic achievements of the pupils are much improved, with three Oxbridge places this year for instance.
“Also the school’s strength in the creative arts has become well-known.
“But perhaps the greatest change, however, is in the field of technology and IT which, with the advent of iPads and web-based learning platforms, now influences virtually every curriculum subject.
“Thankfully Battle Abbey School has an IT infrastructure to be envious of, and we have recently been accredited as a Leading British Independent School for Digital Learning.”
He added: “My greatest achievement has been to gather a team around me who have been able to deliver some of the great advances mentioned above.”
Battle Abbey School celebrated its centenary last year, which Mr Clark says was one of the high points of his tenure.
He said: “It was marvellous to be at the school during its 100th year and to celebrate so much history and education.
“I was also privileged to take part in a life changing expedition to a small, rural school deep in the Kenyan bush and to experience their very different life style.”
But there have also been some low points.
Several years ago Mr Clark was rushed to hospital after being taken ill at the school.
He said: “I was carried out of the school six years ago and subsequently had complex, open heart surgery.
“I am very happy to still be here to tell the tale.”
After 15 years at the helm of one of the UK’s leading independent schools, Mr Clark is planning a relaxing retirement.
He said: “I will be working on rediscovering my conversational French and will be involved in educational projects in the area.
“I have announced my availability to the Ryder Cup team but heard nothing back from them yet. In the meantime I will practice my golf.”
He added: “ I will miss the pupils most of all.
“Schools are about children and I have met so many delightful, talented, smiling youngsters, who have brightened my life.”