“Inspirational” head teacher leaves St Stephen’s School in East Ham

An exemplary headteacher left St Stephen’s Primary School after 28 years in a special end-of-term leaving ceremony that included pupils past and present, and special guests.

Jane Johnson has been teaching in the borough since 1973 and joined the school in East Ham in 1983 as one of the youngest headteachers in Newham and one of only handful of female headteachers in the country.

She received an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List last year for her services to education and she has oversaw the transition of St Stephen’s from Infant school, to Primary school, to the federation that turned it into St Stephen’s Primary School and Children’s Centre which received “Outstanding” in every section of their last OFSTED report.

On receiving her OBE, Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: “It’s people like Jane, who are willing to put in the extra effort, that make a wonderful contribution to so many children’s lives.”

Assistant Headteacher Ken Davies wrote a tribute to Jane: “Mrs Johnson has continued to lead a highly successful group of schools and has also worked with other schools in the borough to raise standards.

“As an inspirational leader she has developed many members of staff who are now head teachers in other schools.

“Insisting on high standards, expectations and the very best for the children in the school, Mrs Johnson’s work has a huge impact on the past and present pupils of St. Stephen’s School Community.”

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Headteacher Jane now wishes to retire and travel to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Australia where she has family she has never met before, before devoted her time to charity work.

Jane said: “As I take my leave from my role of Headteacher I can find few words to express my utter joy and pleasure in working alongside you.

“You have given me life long memories of which I shall treasure and you will always remain a community close to my heart.”