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In memoriam: Terry King first lay Headteacher of the John Fisher School 1980-1992

30 Mar 2017

There are so many wonderful memories of Mr King’s time at John Fisher School that sum up his vision for the school. On the first day of his Headship he said to the staff that he could not have wanted a better school to lead with its fine traditions and history. There is no doubt that he embraced those traditions, maintained them and most importantly improved upon them.  John Fisher is the first state comprehensive school to be invited to join the HMC. Mr King was justifiably incredibly proud that he could sit alongside Headteachers of the leading Independent Schools, not for himself but for all of the families, pupils and staff who contributed to the school's academic, musical and sporting success. Additionally, of course, he was fully aware that the school's main raison d'etre was the furtherance of the Catholic education of the boys in his charge. Mr Cooper remembers that there was pressure on him to bring an end to the activities of the Faith Club prior to Mr King’s arrival. Mr King resisted that pressure and, indeed, regularly attended the Friday evening meetings. Having the Headteacher support their activities in such an overt way meant that the Faith Club flourished and went from strength to strength. Mr Cooper suggested Mr King would get his reward in Heaven for all the time and effort he put into running the school. Mr King’s reply was, "I am only doing my job". This was typical of Mr King who saw teaching as a being a vocation.

Numbers of boys achieved outstanding academic success under Mr King’s stewardship, including many who gained places at Oxbridge. Mr Taylor, who was Deputy Head, remembers that on one occasion Mr King, in high excitement, called him into his office when offers to Oxford and Cambridge were imminent, saying, "I've just been on the phone to Jesus!" Mr Taylor was unsure whether to call the Vatican to speak with the Miracles Department or to ask if someone had been offered a place.

Mr King loved sport and was particularly proud of the successes enjoyed in Cricket, Rugby and Athletics. His support for these activities was absolutely vital to the high reputation the school enjoys today. Without the support of the Headteacher extra-curricular activities simply do not happen.

Mr King is also responsible for the high standard of music and choral singing at the school. Prior to his arrival both activities did not have the profile that they were to attain under his leadership. He was a regular guest at the Christmas Carol Service and, indeed, was there this Christmas, marvelling at the high standard of singing. 

As the first lay Head Mr King holds a unique position in the history of the school. He was a true gentleman, courteous and polite at all times. When necessary, he was firm too, true to his beliefs and vision at all times. He set the standards for his successors to follow. 


Pat Liddiard

Last Modified: Thursday 30 March 2017 11:28
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