Retired head Gustav thought honour was a hoax

A RETIRED headteacher from Ellingham was recognised for his outstanding services to education in the New Year Honours list.

Gustav Macleod helped turn around the fortunes of the Thomas Bewick Special School in Newcastle after becoming headteacher in 2003 when it failed its Ofsted inspection.

He retired in 2006 but has been the school’s chairman of governors ever since.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the award,” he said.

“I was initially checking to see if it was a hoax but I’m pleased to say it was the real thing.”

He had latterly been working as a schools advisor for Newcastle City Council when he was appointed as associate headteacher at Thomas Bewick because they were struggling to find someone to take on the job.

He said: “It was originally a school for young people with challenging behaviour but I changed it so it now specialises in teaching pupils with autism aged between three and 19.

“We managed to get it out of special measures in just over six months which was essential if we were to get the money for a new school build.

“It now has a fantastic building and the school has gone from success to success which has been wonderful to see now that I am chairman of governors.”

Mr Macleod, who originally comes from Wimbledon in south London, is also involved in the steering committee for the Wandylaw windfarm community fund.

He is also a member of Dunstanburgh Golf Club.