Teacher Ida was 'superb'

TRIBUTES have been paid to a "superb" Sheffield school teacher and pioneer of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme who has died aged 95.

Ida Sarson, who used to live on Carter Knowle Road, taught at Sheffield Council-run Whitby Road Girls' School, Darnall, in the 1950s and 1960s, before becoming assistant head at Waltheof School, Manor, in the early 1970s.

She was one of Sheffield's first organisers of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award after the scheme, which encourages young people to take on public service and a series of challenges, was established in 1956. She was among organisers invited to Buckingham Palace in 1969 for a reception in honour of their efforts organising the scheme.

Close friend and former pupil Cynthia Brown, aged 66, who now lives in Baslow, Derbyshire, said: "I was taught by Miss Sarson from 1955 to 1959 and she was superb. A lot of the girls wouldn't have achieved what we went on to in life had it not been for her.

"She loved travelling, music, sewing and discussing politics, and was very involved with doing the best for her girls - to the point she got to know our families quite well, too. Ida became one of Sheffield's most respected school teachers. Her many years at Whitby Road saw thousands of girls benefit from her guidance, dedication and sense of duty."

Ida also organised trips abroad, taking pupils to Switzerland, but she was also a strict disciplinarian, Cynthia remembered. Many old girls kept in touch with her as adults and became friends.

During Ida's retirement she was involved in a number of clubs, including membership of the National Council for Women. On leaving teaching, a letter from Sheffield Council praised her "lifetime of work" and "devoted service".

Cynthia said the teacher, who grew up in Tinsley and attended Brincliffe Training College, was a "wonderful example and an inspiration to all who met her".

Ida spent her last 18 months in Springwood Care Home, Herries Road. Friends will gather for her funeral at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium at 11.30am next Thursday January 20.

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