Dedicated Sheffield teacher retiring after 29 years only expected to stay five years

Friday will be an emotional day for a long-serving member of staff at a Sheffield secondary school as he bids farewell to pupils after a long but rewarding 29 years.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 4:01 pm

Design and technology teacher David Kirkup joined King Edward VII School in 1992 with only a five-year plan which was to earn money, leave teaching and set up a music cafe.

Little did he know that his dedication to his career would massively surpass his expectations nearly three decades later.

He said: "I have worked under three headteachers, with countless colleagues and have called myself variously a teacher of technology, product design, engineering with a bit of art and PE, year tutor, year leader, head of year and now year 12 raising achievement leader.

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Teacher David Kirkup is retiring after 29 years serving King Edward VII School

"Both jobs have changed massively but simply put, enable students of all ages to be the best they can be.

"In my interview on joining the school I told the headteacher the reason I'd come back to my hometown of Sheffield to start my teaching career was because the city had so much to inspire and offer.

"This school is a microcosm of that society and as such, a more diverse and dynamic community I could not wish for as a workplace.

"I was extremely privileged to see both my daughters and one of my nieces through the school, alongside many friends’ offspring. Stressful at times but I wouldn't want it any other way!

Teacher David Kirkup is retiring after 29 years in service.

"The stature of King Edward VII School is such that I still cycle in, even now, and wonder at this impressive building, the academic history and the students who have gone on to great things, in and around this country's institutions."

"It's not just the famous alumni but the ex-resistant material student behind the bar who asks if I remember his CD rack, or the barber's chair offering to give me a short back and sides.

"The Duke of Edinburgh Scheme has allowed me to indulge in and pass on my favourite activity of navigating the wilds of Britain and my love of cycling has coincided with School trips to the velodrome in Manchester and trail centres in and around the Peak District.”

David said leaving King Edward's will be a "wrench" but the friends he has made will still be available for a walk, a ride or a chat over a coffee.

"I count myself extremely lucky to have found my niche so early on in my teaching career and I never had the need to move on,” he said.

"I wish all my colleagues the same good fortune and job satisfaction that I have had, and half the stories I can take with me into retirement!"

Clare Creasy, curriculum leader of art, photography, design & technology and engineering, described David as a consummate professional, a rock, a guide and confidant as well as an amazing teacher and friend.

She said: "He gets the best out of everyone he works with because he always gives the best of himself. I will miss him wholeheartedly. He will always be a massive part of King Edward's."

Headteacher Linda Gooden said: "Dave Kirkup has made a significant contribution to the success of King Edward VII School and shaped the lives of so many students. We wish him all the best for the future."