Judy Rich

26th September 2003 at 01:00
Thanks for doing a brilliant job

Judy Rich is a governor at St Andrew's C of E primary school in Bath, Somerset.

St Andrew's is a city centre school with a difference. In the middle of a Georgian conservation area and tucked behind the city's Royal Crescent, it shares its site with St Andrew's church. Until this term, playtime for the 175 children aged four to 11 was not much fun; the small asphalt playgrounds sloped steeply and were boring.

But Judy Rich has changed all that. As the church's representative on the governing body, she is always a willing volunteer - hearing children read, going swimming, and helping out on school outings. "She's so much a part of the school family," says headteacher Sue Dixon, who nominated her for our flowers, champagne and chocolates.

Eighteen months ago Judy came to Sue with a vision for transforming the infant and junior playgrounds and, with the head's support, set about making it happen. "Judy did all the spadework, she covered every angle," says Sue.

She talked to staff and children about what they wanted, checked out health and safety, visited other schools, negotiated planning, and raised almost pound;15,000 - half the cost - through charities, grants and organised events. In July the children were promised that, if all went smoothly and the weather was fine, they would come back to a magical makeover. And so they have. Stepping stones, monkey bars, a slide, swings, a rope bridge, a tower and a sandpit have all appeared from nowhere. Quiet spaces, tables and seats have also been installed. "The children have been amazed," says Sue Dixon. Everyone agrees playtimes are happier, safer and a lot more fun.

And it's all thanks to Judy.

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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