Tribute to Mr Alan Russell, former Chair of the Woodland Academy Trust
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Mr Alan Russell. Alan joined our Trust family in June 2014 and was a strong supporter and advocate of our schools.
Alan left school with no qualifications, aspirations or a role model. Over time he returned to education and became fully qualified, a leader in his chosen field of health and safety and was highly respected. Alan once said, “If I had been motivated at an early stage in my life I could have made my life easier and that’s what I am trying to do with the children by being a School Governor, giving them aspiration, taking the lead and supporting where necessary.”
After leaving the armed services he worked for the National Health Service for 15 years, as the Facilities and Estates Manager, responsible for both maintenance and safety at the teaching hospitals across London. He then moved on to advising on health, safety and environmental issues across many sectors. Although he enjoyed his lectures, one of Alan’s favourite times was sitting with our Reception class for lunch and being questioned by the children’s School Parliament, over why some decisions were made or not and having to justify his actions. They really did keep Alan on his toes!
Alan believed a School Governor was supportive when needed by the Head Teacher, was balanced in opinion, unbiased in their outlook and with a sense of humour. He strongly believed the reason for supporting schools was to help shape children’s futures, regardless of their background, and not for personal gain or prestige. Alan lived by these beliefs, he was a keen public servant and our Trust and children were well served by him.
Alan was a keen bee-keeper and was delighted to support Willow Bank Primary School with the installation of their bee hives. He took great pleasure in sharing his knowledge and fondness for the bees with the children and staff and this legacy will live on for many generations at the school.
Our thoughts, prayers and fondest wishes are with Alan’s family at this time and always.
Mr D Morrow
CEO, Woodland Academy Trust