Forest Gate school’s memorial tribute to ‘dedicated’ Derek

A Forest Gate school paid tribute to a committed member of their community by unveiling a memorial plaque next to their founder.

An unveiling event was held at Grangewood School, an independent school in Chester Road, to honour the contribution Derek Anderton made and an annual Excellence in Mathematics prize has been established in his name.

Headteacher Bim Joseph, East Ham MP Stephen Timms, and Derek’s widow Carol officially unveiled the plaque next to the school’s founder and Shyla Javeja was awarded the first Derek Anderton Excellence in Mathematics prize.

An industrial accountant, Derek joined the school as financial administrator at age 62 because he did not want to retire.

Derek became a well-known figure in the 10 years he worked at Grangwood but he passed away aged 72 on November 13 2011 after suffering a stroke.

Derek was so committed to the running of the school that, according Carol, his last words were: “They won’t let me get up and I have to go into the school to pay the teacher’s wages.”

Carol said: “That’s how dedicated he was to the school. It was a two way thing, he loved the children and they loved him.

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“Everybody there loved him. In the 10 years that he was there he made such a difference.

“The Head phoned and told me what they were doing and I was so touched. It was such an honour and I think it really shows what he meant to the school.”

Even when the couple out of the borough to Leigh-On-Sea, in Essex, Derek would travel in because he “didn’t want to let the school down.”