Founding head of The Priory School, Spalding, dies aged 92

The founding head of The Priory School, Dennis Osborne, has died aged 92. He's pictured with wife Freda, who passed away in 2007.
The founding head of The Priory School, Dennis Osborne, has died aged 92. He's pictured with wife Freda, who passed away in 2007.

The respected founding head teacher of The Priory School in Spalding, Dennis Osborne, has died at the age of 92.

Former teaching colleague Malcolm Grief said: “Mr Osborne’s legacy to that school is that he set it up to be and feel like a family, youngsters were made to feel that they were part of a family.

“He was a very popular man and his first and foremost concern was always the pupils.”

Current head Daran Bland said the school owes much to the founding principles established by Mr Osborne.

He said: “I think the school is in a good place now because of his work. This school has only had three head teachers.”

Mr Osborne was appointed head in 1968 and was based in Pinchbeck until The Priory School building was completed. It opened as a boarding school and Mr Osborne’s wife, Freda, who passed away in 2007, became house mother.

Their daughter, Mo Teeuw, said: “Staff and pupils had great respect for this man who had a knack of getting what he wanted for the school and always had its best interests at heart.”

Following early retirement in 1984, Mr Osborne, who lived in Moulton, enjoyed wood turning, growing plants and cuttings in his greenhouse and taking cruises and holidays abroad.

Born in Hackney, London, he left school early to work at a butcher’s assistant. Aged 18, he joined the RAF, training as a pilot in South Africa, but was never involved in combat.

Following the war, Mr 
Osborne trained as a teacher and his first job was as a woodwork teacher in Hillingdon, Middlesex.

He went to Bridgewater, Somerset, and was then deputy head at a residential school for children with special needs in Uphill, Weston-super-Mare.

As well as Mo, he leaves family including a son, Peter, five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Mr Osborne’s funeral service takes place at Surfleet crematorium at noon on June 1.