Death of former Garvestone head
A former headmaster and dedicated campaigner for small schools has died at his north Norfolk home, aged 84.Raymond William Stiles moved to the county as the head of Garvestone County Primary School in 1964.
A former headmaster and dedicated campaigner for small schools has died at his north Norfolk home,
Raymond William Stiles moved to the county as the head of Garvestone County Primary School in 1964.
He lived on top of the job - in the school house.
About 10 years later he moved to become head of Barnham Broom Primary School, where he worked until his retirement in 1986.
He started his teaching career in Kent in 1951 and became increasingly convinced of the efficacy of village schools.
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Immediately on retirement he became deputy co-ordinator of the National Association for the Support of Small Schools in partnership with his wife, Molly, the national co-ordinator, who was also a teacher.
Mr Stiles was a leading light in the Norfolk branch of the Defenders of Village Education.
He said: 'Having worked for 22 years in small schools, it has given me the courage to believe in what I am doing and makes me stronger in my belief that to close village schools in haste is to repent at leisure.'
He also became involved in adult education, teaching adults to
read, and is remembered as a sensitive, empathetic teacher.
He lived in Norwich from 1969 and was able to take a keen interest in the theatre. While at Garvestone he enjoyed a year's sabbatical to study for a special diploma in drama at Newcastle University.
In the second world war Mr Stiles served in the Royal Air Force and was posted to Yorkshire, serving later for two years in India.
The church was an important part of his life, and he was a cathedral steward and a churchwarden at St George Colegate, in Norwich.
Six years ago he moved to Aldborough, and he was a churchwarden at Little Barningham.
He leaves his widow, a daughter, Lindsay, and sons Dominic and Martin.