Day of nostalgia at Harrogate school's 50th anniversary as footballer Rachel Daly thanks her old school
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On a day of nostalgia at Rossett School, a packed gathering of former staff and current students watched a video from its former student who has was recently named PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year.
The heart-felt congratulations from Daly, who studied at Rossett School in the Noughties, was just one highlight of a day of celebrations which saw current headteacher Tim Milburn joined by former heads in marking the day the school was launched in 1973.
Talking to the Harrogate Advertiser, Mr Milburn looked back on his own time as student at the school and paid tribute to the teachers who had inspired him.
"I chose my own career path partly because of how much I had enjoyed my time at Rossett as a youngster,” said Mr Milburn who took over as headteacher in May.
"When I first arrived in Year Seven, there were so many members of staff ready to offer support.
"The head of PE, Mark Fenton, had played for Harrogate Town, which was very exciting as I was a mad keen footballer.
"I was also inspired by my history teacher, Rowena McFarlane, who is still at the school.
"I can’t think of a bad memory I made at Rossett.
"Today has been very special.
"It has made me even more aware than ever of all the many inspiring staff members who have helped youngsters go on to great things during the last 50 years.”
Mr Milburn said he felt honoured to be following in the footsteps of a lineage of headteachers at Rossett School, including Jack Kennerley, John Whittle, Pat Hunter, Helen Woodcock and, in acting head capacity, Pete Saunders.
Despite the challenges facing Rossett School, and much of the education sector, in terms of finances and student numbers, Mr Milburn said he was committed to ensuring the school and its students could look forward to a successful future.
A key mission ahead was to change the town’s perception of the school as it continued to make improvements.
"It’s still a privilege and a joy to be headteacher,” said Mr Milburn whose extensive CV includes four large secondary schools.
"The school has gone through a difficult time but it’s come through it and we can now draw on all the support and expertise being part of Red Kite Learning Trust offers
"Our challenge is to change the perception of the school in the town.
"The 50th anniversary celebrations have shown how much Rossett means to so many people.
"We have brilliant staff and everything going for us to bring a great future for a new generation of students.”
Recent weeks have seen Rossett School joining the Red Kite Learning Trust, as well as the merger of its sixth form with Harrogate Grammar School.
Next week will see the school unveil its new 3G sports pitches with England star Rachel Daly turning up in person to do the honours.
This Saturday, meanwhile, sees the school hold an open day for families and parents.
Mr Milburn said: “We want parents to come here on Saturday at our open day and see how we are turning the school around and how we aim to earn their trust.”