Ian Brew Farewell

Retiring principal "unique among head teachers"

Staff and students have paid tribute to a retiring academy principal who has been described as "unique among head teachers".


The entire staff of Trinity Academy turned out for the formal farewell to Ian Brew, who has left after leading the Thorne academy since its inception.


Acting principal David Page said the academy's lecture theatre would be named in his honour as lasting recognition of his work.


Leading the tributes, vice principal Dr Julie McGonigle recalled an occasion where a lengthy search for Mr Brew led eventually to him being found outside playing football in his suit with students.


She said: "His priority was always the students, and there are not many head teachers around who are still able to maintain that relationship with students. It's a remarkable achievement that he kept up for ten years.


"Mr Brew embodied the values of Trinity Academy including courage, strength, determination and moral purpose. He was unique among head teachers."


Meanwhile former students have posted scores of messages on a Facebook event set up by ex-head girl Tarryn Exall paying tribute to Mr Brew's dedication to the area's young people.


Mum Denise Bower thanked him for being "an inspirational role model" for her son Jonathan and for "creating a wonderful, thoughtful son".


She added: "Mr Brew changed Thorne for the better and created a generation to be proud of."


Former student Amber-Leigh Pyatt, who is now at university, wrote: "Without your guidance and support ever since I started at Trinity I would not have achieved my GCSEs and A levels.


"Your determination and devotion to your job was outstanding and I'm sure this is a view shared by many students. You did a fantastic job and succeeded in helping our generation aim high and achieve our personal best."


Alec Hanson added: "No one could have done the job you did. Every decision you made put our school's interests in front of your own."


Ben Middleton wrote: "I feel privileged to have gone to a school run by such a determined and dedicated bloke who cares about every single individual in that school. I had the best five years of my life there and came out with the best results I could have hoped for."


Katy Brough said: "Mr Brew retires knowing he has changed many people's lives."


Even one student who was excluded by Mr Brew before being allowed back joined the tributes.


Mr Brew, who paid tribute to all the staff in the academy, said: "It's not just the end of ten years, it's the end of 37 years of working in five schools and one business.


"Trinity is an absolutely amazing place and the values are at the heart of it. It's humbling to hear the comments from students and it's great to know they have such good feelings about being there. The academy has exceptional leadership and I wish everyone the very best for the future."


Mr Brew and his wife Kate are planning to return to his native Liverpool where they will be closer to two of their children and his beloved Everton Football Club.



Mr Brew pays tributes to families

Retiring academy principal Ian Brew has paid his own emotional tribute to families who lost children during his tenure as head.


In detailing the highs and lows of his leadership of Trinity Academy in Thorne, Mr Brew said coping with the loss of students and former students was the hardest part of his leadership.


"In difficult times you see how people really are and the reaction of this school and the families of those young people was unbelievable," he said.


Students who were lost were Daniel Hill, Progress Khumalo, Megan Hennessy, Kimberley Chapman and most recently Brittany Shadlock.


Year 7 student Megan died in a road accident in 2008 as she and her older sister Sophie walked home from school to their grandparents' house. Sophie was seriously injured.


Mr Brew said: "Getting to know the Hennessy family was an amazing privilege and it's fantastic to see Sophie now doing so well at university.


"I don't know how I would have got through without them. Their strength as a family and the way the academy reacted then and today in keeping Megan's memory alive has been amazing. It's a phenomenal tribute to how we, as a school, have come through some very difficult times."


Mr Brew also highlighted the many highs of the last decade including several 'most improved academy' accolades, the highest school attendance in recent times, the best achievement in English and maths in Thorne and Moorends for 30 years, more than 80 students going to university each year and the highest value added figure in Doncaster, as well as the many events, extra curricular activities, volunteering opportunities and fundraising done by the academy.