Tributes paid to former Mills Grammar School head Betty Langshaw

Head Teacher Betty Langshaw retiring from Mills Grammar School in 1979. Picture: NICK DAVIES

Head Teacher Betty Langshaw retiring from Mills Grammar School in 1979. Picture: NICK DAVIES - Credit: NICK DAVIES

Betty Langshaw, who led the Mills Grammar School in Framlingham for more than twenty years has been remembered by the school’s staff of past and present.

Miss Langshaw at her desk. Picture THOMAS MILLS HIGH SCHOOL

Miss Langshaw at her desk. Picture THOMAS MILLS HIGH SCHOOL - Credit: Archant

Miss Langshaw joined the school then known as Mills Grammar School in January 1958 and retired in 1979 just before the school re-opened as Thomas Mills High School after merging with Framlingham Modern School.

It was said that Miss Langshaw knew the name of every pupil at the school and would spend her free time learning their names.

In the late 1970s when the school’s future was uncertain Miss Langshaw still galvanized efforts to install a full sized pool for pupils.

John Hibberd worked at the school from 1975 until 2013 as deputy headteacher as well as head of history.

Head Teacher Betty Langshaw retiring from Mills Grammar School in 1979. Picture: NICK DAVIES

Head Teacher Betty Langshaw retiring from Mills Grammar School in 1979. Picture: NICK DAVIES - Credit: NICK DAVIES


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Mr Hibberd worked with Miss Langshaw at the end of her career.

“I think she was the most remarkable head I have ever worked for,” said Mr Hibberd, “As far as I am concerned what ever I have learned about education she has taught me.”

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“Betty Langshaw was someone who was absolutely focused on getting the right outcomes for the school, for her pupils and for their parents. She saw parents as being the centre of their children’s education.

“She devoted her whole life to that.”

As well as being a headmistress Miss Langshaw also had a hand in running Cransford Hall, the residential boarding area of the school, during the evenings.

“The pressure of it must have been immense at times but she absolutely thrived on it,” said Mr Hibberd.

“She was tough but very fair and had a great understanding of human beings.”

Current headmaster at Thomas Mills High School Philip Hurst said: “I have been privileged to meet Betty once since I arrived as head of Thomas Mills and from my own meetings I have had with former pupils and staff I know she is considered an extraordinary person.”

Mr Hurst added that many of Miss Langshaw’s views about having a balanced curriculum and developing the individual student were still adhered to today.

Betty Edna Langshaw died on April 12 at Grove Court Care Home in Woodbridge, she was 97.

Her funeral will be held at Seven Hills Crematorium on April 30 at 10.30am.

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