‘A humble man who did a lot with his life’ - tributes paid to former primary school headteacher
PUBLISHED: 14:44 23 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:32 23 February 2019
The former headteacher of a north Norfolk primary - where he was also a pupil - has died, 50 years after he founded a brand new school.
Michael Slipper, 89, died peacefully in his home town of Sheringham on January 15 this year.
Mr Slipper, born in 1929, was educated at Sheringham Primary.
He attended Paston Grammar School, where he met his wife of 66 years, Pauline, and served in the RAF, before training as a teacher.
He taught in London before being appointed head at St Michael’s Primary, Manningtree, where he was also given a six-acre site to build a new school in 1969.
Hamford County Primary School opened on April 16, 1969, with just 60 pupils and had more than 300 by 1976, including his own son and daughter. The school marks its 50th anniversary in 2019, with a new extension named after Mr Slipper.
He returned to Sheringham Primary School in 1976, where his wife said he “guided the school onto a path of modernisation”.
Mr Slipper was also a senior advisor for primary education for Norfolk County Council, and one of the first Ofsted inspectors in the country, before ill-health forced him to retire aged 70.
He served as governor to three schools, was a Gressenhall volunteer and a founding member of Sheringham Museum.
Mrs Slipper said: “His grandchildren called him ‘bionic man’ because he had two hips replaced, two knees, a heart valve replacement and prostate cancer.”
Mr Slipper died at home, leaving wife Pauline, children Lesley and David, six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
A memorial service was held at St Peter’s Church, in Sheringham, on Monday, February 4.
His daughter, Lesley Weston, who nursed her father at the end of his life, said: “Dad grew up in Sheringham, where his father managed Rusts Grocers. He was proud of his roots and a humble man who did a lot with his life.
“Dad made an impact on all those he taught. I am very proud of what he achieved in education and I miss him very much.
“We were friends as well as father and daughter.
“He encouraged mum to become a teacher and although education was not his first choice career he became very passionate about it.
“He had his own brand of humour right until he died.”
Mr Slipper wrote a book on the history of Sheringham schools, published by Larks Press in 2015.