‘Wonderful’ Stoke-on-Trent headteacher gets fitting send-off as she leaves post after 18 years


Pupils and colleagues have praised a much-loved headteacher as she leaves her post after 18 years.

Margaret Yates has served as executive head across St Gregory’s Catholic Academy, in Longton, and St Augustine’s Catholic Academy, in Meir.

Despite retiring from her headship, she will still be overseeing All Saints Catholic Collegiate, the multi-academy company that runs the schools and will focus on other strategic education roles across the city and beyond.

Now her staff and pupils have said a big thank you for her hard work.

Victoria Brickley, head of school at St Gregory’s, spoke on behalf of the whole school to ‘express their gratitude’ for Mrs Yates’ service over the years.

She said: “Mrs Yates has worked tirelessly within the All Saints Catholic Collegiate across the city to drive school improvements and to ensure that every child has access and the opportunity to excel and flourish.

Margaret Yates with St Gregory’s students in 2017. She is pictured with Chelsea Kirby, Megan Bates, Harrison Minshull, Tilly-Kay Rathbone, Jessica Shaw, Phoenix Mathers, and Jackson Knapper and Joel Whalley.

“She has lived the St Gregory’s school motto, ‘service before self’, and inspired many to strive for excellence, her work has had a significant impact within the city and within the wider educational community.

“The school community would like to express their gratitude for all of her dedication and service. We wish her well in her future ventures.”

St Gregory’s teacher Sarah Williams said that Mrs Yates has led with ‘passion and determination’ during her years at the school.

“Mrs Yates has not only been an outstanding principal for our children, but a pillar of support and motivation for all staff,” she added.

“As an individual who has progressed in her career with the belief and direction from Margaret, it is clear to see why she has had such fantastic results within her role as executive principal.

“She leads with passion and determination and achieves the best outcomes for all children.”

Mrs Yates will continue as senior executive principal of the collegiate, along with her work helping to turn other schools around as a national leader of education (NLE).

She also sits on the West Midlands Headteacher Board, which advises the regional schools commissioner.

Pupils are sad to see Mrs Yates relinquish her current role – but have wished her well for the future.

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Year 6 pupil Leon George said: “Our headteacher Mrs Yates is always joyful and humble. She is a very thoughtful person who always looks after us and supports us in school.

“As a pupil of St Gregory’s, I wish her all of the very best for her future adventures for us within our multi-academy.”

Fellow Year 6 pupil and deputy head girl, Mae Whitehead, added: “Mrs Yates is a wonderful headteacher and, over the years, she has been a kind and caring person to us all.

“She will continue to be amazing in her role within the multi-academy. Mrs Yates has a lovely personality and heart, who is always looking out for her pupils and staff. I wish her the very best.”





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