Brothers a class apart - but only just

BOTH primary schools are at the heart of picturesque Suffolk villages - just ten minutes down the road from one another - and now the similarity even extends to the men in charge.

Lizzie Parry

BOTH primary schools are at the heart of picturesque Suffolk villages - just ten minutes down the road from one another - and now the similarity even extends to the men in charge.

Given their likeness you could be forgiven for thinking they are the same man - but the two brothers from Ipswich are working side-by-side as headteachers of neighbouring primary schools.

John Lynch is the head at Tattingstone while his younger sibling Michael, is in charge at Stutton - just two and a half miles down the road.


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However rather than fuel any family rivalry the pair find it helpful for their working life, with regular meetings - often at the end of the school day over a cup of tea - sharing problems and bouncing ideas off one another.

John, 49, headmaster at Tattingstone for eight years, told how the situation has raised a joke or two from local residents.

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“It seems to amuse other people, it's a bit of a running joke that the Lynch family is taking over,” he said. “We don't really think about it though, we get on really well together and it's just the norm for us.”

The close relationship between the two headteachers - who both attended Chantry High School - has brought benefits to both schools.

Michael, 47, who has been headmaster at Stutton for the last two years, highlighted the extra support they provide each other as brothers and fellow teachers.

He said: “One of the main benefits of working so close to John is similar issues come up, we chat about changes and the nice thing is its all done in an informal manner.”

John added: “Normally two headteachers wouldn't see as much of each other as we do, we can share ideas and problems and go to each other for advice in an informal way.

“We recognise that the schools are very similar, they are geographically close and are similar in size and ethos.”

The fact the schools are so close geographically means in the past the headmasters have co-ordinated events - ensuring youngsters get a chance to meet each other before moving on to Holbrook High school.

Working in such close proximity to a sibling could result in competition but both brothers reject the idea of a rivalry - apart from the odd jibe when one school triumphs over the other on the sports field.

Michael said: “To be honest quite the opposite happens, instead of competing against each other we can support each other.

“We have a great relationship, it is nice to have him down the road, and we compliment each other.”

“Any competition is more in a joking manner; perhaps if we beat Stutton in a sporting tournament I may drop it into conversation,” John added. “We can just have a laugh.

“We are quite different as people but we do get on very well, it is quite nice that we are doing the same job.”

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