Cromer head teacher receives good Ofsted report months after heart attack

Cromer Junior School celebrate their outstanding Ofsted report. Right, headteacher Steve Godson and

Cromer Junior School celebrate their outstanding Ofsted report. Right, headteacher Steve Godson and deputy head Whil de Neve.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A head teacher is enjoying a second lease of life, eight months after a near fatal heart attack.

And Steve Godson's return to Cromer Junior has been boosted by the tonic of a good Ofsted report that flags some of the school's work as outstanding.

Mr Godson, 56, was taken ill while out cycling near his home, and says that without a helicopter airlift to hospital he would not be here today.

Now four stone lighter, and with a change of diet and more exercise, he is feeling 'as well as I have ever done'.

And he is thrilled about the glowing Ofsted report received by the 258-pupil school, which was steered by deputy Whil De Neve while he recovered.

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Mr Godson, who has been head for 12 years, was unaware of his heart problems until his cycling incident near his home last August.

'I used to ski and play rugby when I was younger, but had slipped into bad habits.

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'I was in the middle of nowhere when I felt unwell.

'I called my wife who was at home eight miles away and by the time she got there it was a 999 call – and a paramedic telling me I was having a heart attack.'

After having stents fitted to his arteries and 'lots of walking and sensible eating' to recuperate, Mr Godson is now back at work two days a week and aims to return full time in September.

'I have realised the things that are important to me. Returning to work is part of that but a second go at life has more to offer as well.'

He praised staff and pupils for their messages during his recovery and said he, friends and family will do a two-day cycle ride 150 miles across Norfolk in August to raise funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance as a 'thank you'.

Mr Godson was pleased the Ofsted report showed the school was 'going from strength to strength' despite the challenges facing education.

Highlights included top 'outstanding' marks for pupil behaviour, some of the teaching, and the specialist resource base for autistic pupils.

Lessons were interesting and captured pupils' imagination and their attitudes to learning were exemplary.

Teachers gave good feedback through marking, and the school was well-led by managers and the governors chaired by John Simpson.

To become a top rated outstanding school it needed to promote maths skills in other subjects, grow the amount of outstanding teaching and turn extra help from pupil premium cash into attainment results.

Mr Godson said the school was based on 'lots of expectations, not lots of rules' and future development included engaging with all families to help their youngsters' progress.

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