Passionate headteacher forced to stand down after being diagnosed with cancer

Thurrock Gazette: James Howarth outside the Hathaway Academy in Grays James Howarth outside the Hathaway Academy in Grays

A PASSIONATE headteacher has been forced to stand down for the foreseeable future after being diagnosed with blood cancer.

James Howarth, who was appointed as headteacher of the Hathaway Academy in Grays last year, will be taking a leave of absence.

He was recently diagnosed with lymphoma.

The school's Vice Principal Fatima Rodrigues will take up the post of Acting Principal until the end of the school year and in Spetember, Alan Osborne, who is currently Senior Vice Prinicpal at Mark Hall Academy in Harlow, will take up the position of Interim Principal.

Mark Hall Academy is part of Academy Transformation Trust, which also maintains the Hathaway Academy.

Joyce Hodgetts, Managing Director at the trust, said: "Following his recent diagnosis with lymphoma, Principal James Howarth will be taking a leave of absence from The Hathaway Academy.

"James is a highly respected leader with a clear, shared vision for the academy that will continue in his absence.

"We are working together with the Chair of Governors and senior staff at the academy to look at how we will continue to deliver this vision and ensure there is no disruption to our pupil’s education over the coming months."

Peter Bishop from the ATT, who has extensive headship and school improvement experience, will also work alongside the leadership team at The Hathaway Academy.

In an interview with the Gazette in Janaury, Mr Howarth spoke of his ambitious plans for the school. He discussed hopes of raising aspirations at the school, formerly known as The Grays School Media Arts College - which had produced the borough's worst exam results in recent years - and establishing a sixth form.

He had already worked to make the school more inviting by bringing the reception office to the front of the building.

After one term, he worked to increase attendance, with pupils now at school 95 per cent of the time, 2.5 per cent higher than in September.

Mr Howarth had also introduced a house system at the school since taking up the reigns in September.

More recently, Mr Howarth befriended former pupil and Hollywood star Russell Brand, who visited the school in April - with plans in the pipeline for the comedian to return.

Ms Hodgetts said: "We offer James and his family our full support at this time and we look forward to once again working with him to lead the academy to outstanding."

Comments (6)

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9:39pm Mon 16 Jun 14

E.C.M. says...

Being a Principle is bad for your health! Only weeks after the sad news of the untimely death of Bob Knight (58), Headteacher of Darlinghurst (a Leigh on Sea Primary), this extremely sad news is reported in the TG.

You have nothing without your health and the trials and tribulations of teaching today, appear to have once again taken their toll on the quality of life of a school leader!

Best wishes James, for a speedy and full recovery!
Being a Principle is bad for your health! Only weeks after the sad news of the untimely death of Bob Knight (58), Headteacher of Darlinghurst (a Leigh on Sea Primary), this extremely sad news is reported in the TG. You have nothing without your health and the trials and tribulations of teaching today, appear to have once again taken their toll on the quality of life of a school leader! Best wishes James, for a speedy and full recovery! E.C.M.
  • Score: 1

11:39pm Mon 16 Jun 14

d_2da_ougle says...

cancer and a job come on mate a very below the bar post
cancer and a job come on mate a very below the bar post d_2da_ougle
  • Score: -6

8:03am Tue 17 Jun 14

E.C.M. says...

d_2da_ougle wrote:
cancer and a job come on mate a very below the bar post
Statistically, teachers do not live long after retirement! Just a thought, but Is all the stress and aggro really worth it?

No wonder you can't get Headteachers for love nor money! A work-life balance is crucial!

I repeat...best wishes James, for a speedy and full recovery!
[quote][p][bold]d_2da_ougle[/bold] wrote: cancer and a job come on mate a very below the bar post[/p][/quote]Statistically, teachers do not live long after retirement! Just a thought, but Is all the stress and aggro really worth it? No wonder you can't get Headteachers for love nor money! A work-life balance is crucial! I repeat...best wishes James, for a speedy and full recovery! E.C.M.
  • Score: 1

1:17am Thu 19 Jun 14

d_2da_ougle says...

well i would tend to agree maybe with heart attacks not cancer though
well i would tend to agree maybe with heart attacks not cancer though d_2da_ougle
  • Score: 0

10:19am Thu 19 Jun 14

Marcus P says...

Teaching is very stressful and not condusive to good health. I wonder how many younger teachers will draw their pensions at 68.

Maybe this is all part of the 'plan'.
Teaching is very stressful and not condusive to good health. I wonder how many younger teachers will draw their pensions at 68. Maybe this is all part of the 'plan'. Marcus P
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Bendog says...

Opinion is divided over the relationship between stress and cancer but teh Daily Mail reported this in 2013 http://www.dailymail
.co.uk/health/articl
e-2400784/Stress-DOE
S-impact-cancer-Anxi
ety-switches-gene-sp
eeds-spread-disease.
html and the American National Foundation for Cancer Research says this: http://www.nfcr.org/
node/3003?gclid=CM2n
u-yFhr8CFYUIwwodN7wA
Dw
However, it is a fact that many teachers die younger than those from other professions. I hope that Mr Howarth has a speedy recovery and takes the time needed to achieve this.
Opinion is divided over the relationship between stress and cancer but teh Daily Mail reported this in 2013 http://www.dailymail .co.uk/health/articl e-2400784/Stress-DOE S-impact-cancer-Anxi ety-switches-gene-sp eeds-spread-disease. html and the American National Foundation for Cancer Research says this: http://www.nfcr.org/ node/3003?gclid=CM2n u-yFhr8CFYUIwwodN7wA Dw However, it is a fact that many teachers die younger than those from other professions. I hope that Mr Howarth has a speedy recovery and takes the time needed to achieve this. Bendog
  • Score: 1

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