North Staffordshire man Ken, 90, retires after 75 years working in education


A North Staffordshire man who has worked for 76 years in the education system has retired.

Ken Byatt, aged 90, has been a teacher, supply teacher and in later life a technician.

He has worked in several Leek schools, including Westwood Academy, St Edward’s Academy and the former Britannia Street school, for 40 years. He has also worked at Hanley High School.

He joined St Edward’s school in 1992 where he stayed until his recent retirement.

Ken, who sadly lost his wife Beryl 14 years ago after 49 years of marriage, has one daughter and two granddaughters.

One of his granddaughters is following in his footsteps by working in education.

He started work as an apprentice joiner in Stoke-on-Trent. He later went on to study at Alsager College.

Ken said: “I have really enjoyed my time in education and I also like making things. I had my own workshop and became head of department at Westwood and Hanley High schools.

“Over the years I have seen thousands of pupils go through the educational system. I have taught children and then their children and then their grandchildren.

“I have seen many changes in education, but I have also found it a rewarding career. I have seen many of my pupils go on to be joiners, which is also very rewarding. More recently I have worked as a handicraft technician at St Edward’s.

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“I am now looking forward to some holidays. I am also going to make some wooden toys, I have made rocking horses and chairs before. I also love gardening where I hope to spend more time.

“I have always kept myself active and I have always been interested in sport.” During his life Ken has also been a volunteer for 10 years with The Samaritans and is also a former chairman of North Staffs Cancer Forum.

Principal at St Edward’s Church of England Academy, Tom Hutchinson, said that Ken was an inspiration to everyone in education.

He said: “Ken is an example to all his colleagues in education. His passion for helping pupils to learn and to thrive after over half a century in the education system inspires me.

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“His presence around school still ensures that pupils are respectful and appreciate his vast knowledge.

“I really hope that I still have the passion and determination Ken has and still demonstrates for this most rewarding of jobs.

“A cheque for £150 has been raised as a good bye to Ken from his colleagues and Ken has donated this to Ovarian Cancer Research.”





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