Head teacher steps down after 25 years at school

Head teacher Anthony Cooper with pupils
Head teacher Anthony Cooper with pupils

The head teacher of Aldercar Community Language College has retired after 25 years - with 19 of those as boss of the Langley Mill school.

Anthony Cooper CBE stepped down from the top job before the half term break at the Daltons Close school, which will be managed by current deputy Chris McGraw until September.

Mr Cooper, 61, who lives in Aston-on-Trent, started teaching in Breaston in June, 1975 and has worked in Derbyshire for nearly 39 years. He said: “The students and parents here are absolutely tremendous. It’s been a privilege to work with the children and make a difference to their futures. I just thank the staff for giving me the opportunity to work with them. They do a tremendous job.”

Mr Cooper taught geography, becoming head of humanities and then head of year, before joining Aldercar as deputy head in 1990. He became the head in 1995. He said: “Prior to that the school was in a pretty bad situation. There were only 397 students and the school was nearly closed.

“We worked on behaviour and standards and school numbers grew significantly. We are now up to around 800 pupils.”

He said the enhanced resource school for hearing impaired students there was a ‘wonderful addition’ and talked with pride about the school’s success in getting language, science and vocational specialisms, as well as the addition of the sixth form college. There is als a new sports hall.

Speaking about the recently announced £7 million rebuild of the school, he said: “There’s a folder on my filing cabinet – full of letters badgering for a new school!”