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Respected headteacher leaves generous donation to former school in his will

PUBLISHED: 16:42 25 February 2018 | UPDATED: 07:49 26 February 2018

Attleborough Academy principal Neil McShane, academy librarian Kathryn Elliot, Mr and Mrs Julian Blagg and a group of year-12 English literature students. Picture: ATTLEBOROUGH ACADEMY

Attleborough Academy principal Neil McShane, academy librarian Kathryn Elliot, Mr and Mrs Julian Blagg and a group of year-12 English literature students. Picture: ATTLEBOROUGH ACADEMY

Archant

A respected headteacher from an academy’s past made a valuable donation to its future after leaving £6,000 in his will for the school’s library.

Attleborough Academy had already renamed its library after ex-headteacher Jeffrey Blagg in light of his outstanding contribution to the school’s history before his son, Julian Blagg, visited to hand over the cheque to current principal Neil McShane.

Mr Blagg became headteacher of Attleborough High School, as it was then known, after it first opened its doors in 1965.

He led the school over many successful years and became well-known and respected in the community.

A spokesman from the academy said: “Mr Blagg certainly took great care in his time as leader of the school and he strove to reflect the aspirations of the community, as have the three leaders of the organisation who have followed in his footsteps.”

Mr Blagg kept in touch with the school he used to lead during his later years, returning for its annual presentation evening a few years ago - where current students and staff were said to be “taken by his kindness, intelligence and gentle humour”.

However, he died just before the school marked its 50th anniversary in 2017.

To commemorate his “dedication and leadership”, the library was renamed after Mr Blagg during the 50th anniversary celebrations.

Mr Blagg also had a very extensive personal library and had made provision that the academy could select some books from it, with librarian Kathryn Elliott visiting his home and choosing some books for the library and English department.

Mr McShane was said to be “surprised and delighted” when notification came at the end of the year that Mr Blagg had also left a sum of £6,000 in his will for the academy library.

“We are exceedingly grateful to receive this substantial sum from Mr Blagg,” Mr McShane said.

“This donation will ensure that the library, which is named in honour of this former headteacher, remains at the heart of the academy.

“This will keep alive Jeffrey Blagg’s legacy, his determination to work to enhance the lives and prospects of all Attleborough students and his strong belief that a well-stocked and sustainable library resource was central to the school right from its inception.”

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Miss Elliott said of the donation: “This most generous donation is fantastic news for the library and the whole academy, as it is a well-used and popular space for many of our students.

“It is extremely fitting that the library now bears the name of Mr Blagg, as it is something that he fought to have included in the original school and was a great supporter of throughout his time in charge.

“For him to have left us this money as a statement of the importance of a school library is a wonderful legacy.”

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