Alan Pautard

14th November 2003 at 00:00
Alan Pautard is a governor at Gordonbrock primary school in Brockley, London borough of Lewisham.

Seventy years ago he started as a pupil at the school and "basically, he's never left", according to headteacher Sue Blyth, who nominated him for our flowers, champagne and chocolates. Sue says he's been a governor "for donkey's years" and that anything worth knowing about the school's history resides with him. One of his many roles is to come into lessons to talk about his own schooldays and his evacuation from Brockley to Kent during the Second World War. "The children are fascinated by his stories."

Alan is a retired Fleet Street printer and a well-known face in Brockley, where he's campaigned for traffic-calming and road safety measures. He's also a qualified sports coach and encourages local youngsters at the Ladywell sports track to take athletics seriously; his voluntary work there means Gordonbrock primary can use the running track for its annual sports day.

Gordonbrock was built in 1905 and will have just reached its centenary when the school moves into new premises in a couple of years' time. Plans for a PFI rebuild are currently at the bidding stage and staff are gearing up for the first upheaval of moving into temporary premises. Already a large primary with 500 children aged three to 11 on roll, the new school is planned for three forms of entry and a total roll of 620. There will be larger classrooms, access for disabled children and state-of-the-art ICT facilities. Given the changes that lie ahead, Alan Pautard's calming advice, help and support - he's in school almost every day - will be more valued than ever.

Is there an unsung hero in your school? Tell Sarah Bayliss, TESFriday editor, about him or her at the address below. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer

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