Headteachers meet for special reunion at Manor Park school

Sally Norris, Rosie Cowan and Joanne Butler

Sally Norris, Rosie Cowan and Joanne Butler - Credit: Jonathan Parr

Two heads are better than one, as the old saying goes – so what about three?

Colin and Jackie Norris, Joanne Butler, Rosie Cowan and Sally Norris

Colin and Jackie Norris, Joanne Butler, Rosie Cowan and Sally Norris - Credit: Jonathan Parr

Former Essex Primary School pupils Sally Norris and Joanne Butler, who have grown up and become headteachers themselves, paid a visit to their former school and met current head Rosie Cowan.

The sisters, who had been pupils at the Sheridan Road, Manor Park school in the 1970s, were accompanied by parents Jackie and Colin Norris– the latter having also studied there during the 1950s.

They pored over newspaper clippings, school photo albums and log books, which included details about how the school celebrated VJ Day and welcomed back evacuees.

Rosie, who had taught Joanne during her time at Essex, gave the family a guided tour, discussing the new developments and what had remained unchanged.


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Joanne, who has been head of St Paul’s in Buckinghamshire since January, and Sally, who takes up her post at William Davies Primary School in Forest Gate this September, were introduced to current pupils – including a girl who sits where Joanne used to.

Rosie said: “This is an exciting reunion and what teaching is all about. I have never been in any doubt as to just how much the pupils who learn, play and grow in this school can achieve but I am so pleased that the pupils themselves have been able to see what they can do in the future by meeting people who have been at the school and have gone on to do great things.

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“Having several generations of Essex pupils in one room like that was a wonderful sight and I look forward to seeing just how much Sally and Joanne go on to achieve in their own headships.”

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