Rainbow service to celebrate life of Thomas Wolsey School’s Nancy McArdle

Nancy McArdle worked at the Thomas Wolsey School, Ipswich

Nancy McArdle worked at the Thomas Wolsey School, Ipswich

A stained glass window will be unveiled at the Thomas Wolsey School in honour of an influential former headteacher.

Nancy McArdle, who was the head of the Ipswich special school for 18 years, died at her Norfolk home in January at the age of 67 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

On July 17, a ‘Rainbow Day’ will be held at the school to recognise the unique contribution Mrs McArdle made to Special Education in Suffolk.

Her husband, Gerard, said: “The governors have raised funds for a specially-commissioned stained glass window, which will be unveiled in the nursery, Nancy’s sanctuary. The rainbow theme reflects Nancy’s colourful personality.”

Past pupils, parents and friends who knew Mrs McArdle are invited to join the ceremony. During the morning, the pupils will be taking part in various activities with the theme of rainbows and colour.


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The service will then start at 1.30pm where the stained glass window will be revealed.

Reverend Andrew Dotchin, the vicar for Whitton Parish Church and a governor at Thomas Wolsey School, will be helping with the ceremony.

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Mrs McArdle started her work with vulnerable children in 1976 at Elizabeth Fry Special School in London, where she became the deputy headteacher until the school burnt down in 1990.

The mother-of-one was appointed headteacher of Thomas Wolsey School, which caters for children aged three-16 with complex medical and learning needs, in 1992 and stayed until her retirement in 2010.

In 2009, the school moved from its 1930s Old Norwich Road building to a purpose-built facility in Defoe Road.

To attend the service, email the school by July 15. Attendees are encouraged to wear colourful clothing.

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