Spalding teacher 40 years at school

Have your say

Ray Isaacs is particularly proud of two people at the Sir John Gleed School, Spalding.

They are teachers Penny Watt and Paula Baker, just two of the 6,000 or so students he has taught in his astonishing 40-year career at the school.
Ray (64), who notched up his 40 years at the end of last week, plans to retire at the end of the summer term.

Ray Isaacs in the classroom at The Sir John Gleed School.

Ray Isaacs in the classroom at The Sir John Gleed School.

He started with the girls’ school and can claim to have worked with every head teacher bar two, Mrs Edwards and Mrs Hall.

He says he has also worked with some “super kids”, some of whom have gone on to achieve degrees in geography, the subject Ray originally taught along with maths.

Now he teaches computer studies and computer science, and Ray says some students have also chosen to follow that path.

He says: “Looking back, overall I have to say I have enjoyed it. I really enjoy the teaching.”

In fact Ray, who previously worked for Goodfellows School in the town, said his career at the school was “very good” until two years ago.

At that point the school received a poor Ofsted inspection and Ray said since then it’s been “hard work”.

He said: “We are set so many targets which are getting impossible to achieve. You are all the time under so much pressure.

“When I started here you came in, did your teaching and marking, and all the parents were interested in was, Are they working as hard as they can? We didn’t have these government-set targets. Of course, we had our own targets and achieved super results, but now teachers are under pressure, kids are put under pressure, and I don’t think it’s such a rounded education as when I started and we used to do more practical subjects.

“The government wants a more academic timetable and everybody has got to achieve five A star to Cs in certain subjects when it’s not right for everybody here.”

Ray, who is married to Kate and has two sons and a grandson, plans to spend more time in their home in France and riding his 30-year-old Goldwing motorbike.

He is also interested in researching the histories of World War 1 deaths recorded in the churches at Deeping St James , where he lives.