‘Humbled’ Mike retires

Mike Schofield in one of the outdoor learning areas.
Mike Schofield in one of the outdoor learning areas.

A head teacher, known to his pupils as ‘Mr Smiley’, has retired after a 40-year career which saw him turn a Boston school around and pull it out of special measures to become outstanding.

Mike Schofield officially retired from Boston West Academy on Wednesday, July 19, after 17 years at the school.

The head teacher, born near Sheffield, told The Standard he has always put the children at his school first.

“It’s all about the kids,” he said.

Mr Schofield, who has been in head teacher roles for 27 years, said had been ‘really humbled’ when he joined.

“I had only had half a term as the head teacher [before the special measures inspection result],” he said.

“After the inspection, we had to have a parents meeting - the hall was packed with parents.

“The inspectors came down with the director of education, all the big wigs.

“I thought, in my naivety, that we would walk out and we would answer a few questions and the senior people would take the questions - but they turned to me and asked me what I was going to do.

“I had 200 parents sitting there wanting to know what was going to happen, but we just talked to them about what I was going to try and achieve. It was really heartwarming and humbling that nobody took their child out of the school and at that point they could have done – I would have understood if they had.

“It was the most challenging time both professionally and personally in my life, but I look back and it was the most wonderful time.”

Since then Mr Schofield has worked hard to improve the school - which has become an inspiration to others.

Most notable of the changes to take place was the school’s switch of focus to ecology and outdoor learning.

Pupils do many of their lessons outside and the school has been acknowledged for its efforts. It was last year awarded the East Midlands Best School Garden 2016.

During his career Mr Schofield has also worked locally atStaniland School.

He was involved in local football too, and in 1981 was a linesman at Wembley 

He worked for a long time with PGL, taking children to camps for many years.

He thanked his wife Emma, who helped put the school on the green path, calling her ‘inspirational from day one’.