14th September 2007 at 01:00
the appointment of a new member of staff is normally marked with a message in a newsletter and an announcement in assembly.

But for one school in Norfolk, the arrival of their new principal has been met with a slightly grander gesture: a message of congratulations from Lord Adonis, the schools minister.

Commenting on the appointment of Melvyn Roffe to Wymondham College, Lord Adonis said: "He has made a great contribution to the success of the sector over the last six years and I wish him well as he takes up his new post at the country's largest-ever state boarding school."

Perhaps Lord Adonis's enthusiasm to congratulate Mr Roffe (above) may have something to do with the fact that he himself was awarded a local education authority grant to attend a state boarding school as a youngster.

Mr Roffe certainly has an impressively packed CV. As well as being a teacher, he is vice-chairman of the Boarding Schools Association and has served as a lay member of the Council of the College of Optometrists and advised on a visit by the Queen to a secondary school in Poland.

Curiously, the headteacher has also found time to work as a mayor, parliamentary candidate and district councillor for the Liberal Democrats.

So why the congratulations from a Labour peer? Was it perhaps because Lord Adonis was once a Lib Dem councillor too?

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