Letter from CEO Rebecca Meredith to the school community
Saturday 11th December 2021
Dear Parents / Carers,
I promised last week that when I had more information I would update you. I regret to have to tell you the incredibly sad news that after a very sudden and short illness Jon Fordham died Friday 10th December surrounded by his loved ones. This is devastating news at any time, but at Christmas time, when we’re all meant to be celebrating with family and friends, it feels even more poignant. I am sure you will join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to Helen and his family.
Jon remained a devoted family man and headteacher to the very end, and over the past week he was able to convey to Helen his wishes for the future. For those of you who knew Jon, it will come as no surprise that these wishes focus upon the health and happiness of the children in his family and in his school.
Again, Jon wanted to reiterate the immense pride and love he feels for Allenton Community Primary School and its community. He would like to thank each and every one of you who have helped make this school what it is today. I, in turn, as a friend and colleague, would like to thank Jon, for his devotion to education and his loyalty to his school and the Trust. It is down to his caring and professional leadership, his tireless determination in giving every child, regardless of their background, a good education and equal life chances, and his ability to bring everyone along on this continual journey of improvement, that has driven the success of this school. His passion, knowledge and experience extended throughout the Trust and widely into the community he loved so much and he will be sorely missed.
The moment Jon became aware of his illness, albeit just recently, he was keen to enlist the help and support of Andrew Sharp. Andrew shares Jon’s passion and vision as an educator and facilitator and therefore we are confident that he will continue to lead in the same vein, supporting our Deputy Head Jacqui and the wider school team.
Furthermore, we have also sought guidance from Child Bereavement UK and Winston’s Wishes to help us provide the support needed to our staff and children as they come to terms with this very sudden sad loss. Naturally, we will be sharing details with you via ClassDojo and, with the end of term imminent, we will also provide you with further information should you need to access support for your children over the holiday period.
As I mentioned last week, Jon had two immediate requests. The first being that we look after Helen, which we are doing and will continue to do. The second is that we all carry on as before, that we cherish our families and enjoy the festive season. He doesn’t want us to be miserable.
Details of his funeral will follow. In the meantime, should you wish to extend your own personal messages we will make sure these are passed on to Helen and his family.
Once again, I am so sorry to be the bearer of this news. On behalf of the Trust, I would like to extend our very best wishes to you and your families.