18th July 2008 at 01:00
Forget about Four Weddings and a Funeral; one school in Essex is preparing for six weddings and a new school over the summer
Forget about Four Weddings and a Funeral; one school in Essex is preparing for six weddings and a new school over the summer.

Three of the weddings are between staff members at Belfairs High, in Leigh-on-Sea. So while staff have been consulting on school bell designs as part of their Building Schools for the Future project, nine teachers have been more interested in wedding bells.

Chris Child, an assistant headteacher, is to marry Lisa Lambert, the head of key stage 4 English (pictured). They are planning a honeymoon in the south of France.

"I think people are really pleased and excited for each other," Mr Child said.

Linda Burrage, deputy head, who is responsible for recruitment, said: "The weddings are wonderful, but I'm not looking forward to all the babies that will inevitably follow in the next few years."

She will soon be facing the same challenge as Clive Hale, headteacher of Polegate School in East Sussex. He has desperately been trying to fill vacancies as his staff have progressed from weddings to starting families.

"We're very fortunate that we have a young, thrusting staff," he said wryly.

"It's just unfortunate that some of them thrust too much."

In little over a year, his deputy head, foundation stage leader, inclusion manager, key stage 1 leader and two classroom leaders have gone off on maternity leave. "And my key stage 2 leader is desperate to join them," he added.

It brings a whole new meaning to succession planning.

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