Couple mark 25 years at Bristol school
IT'S not often that a married couple celebrates their 25th anniversary by going back to school.
But that was the case for David and Elaine Lawson, the joint principals of an independent school in Knowle. As the husband and wife returned to the classroom for a new academic year, they celebrated their silver jubilee at the helm of Cleve House School.
The couple say there have been many changes in education over the past 25 years, but that the school's traditional ethos – small class sizes and a caring atmosphere – have remained the same.
Mr Lawson said: "Of course there have been lots of major changes over the years.
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"There is now a lot more technology in the classroom and the pupils are set more national tests and targets.
"I think the way children learn has also changed somewhat – there is more hands-on and interactive learning these days and overall I think they enjoy a more relaxed learning experience, which has to be a good thing.
"My wife and I are so privileged to have worked at such a special school for the past 25 years and we would like to thank all pupils, parents and staff, past and present, for their support."
The couple have clearly defined roles at the school in Wells Road. While Mr Lawson handles the business and finance side of things, Mrs Lawson is responsible for "front of house".
They arrived in Bristol with their family from their home city of Hull in 1987 when they were in their early 30s.
Mrs Lawson, who married her husband 35 years ago, said she enjoyed working alongside her other half.
The teacher, who lives on the school site with her husband, said: "It works perfectly – well we're still married.
"We both have clearly defined roles and wouldn't be comfortable doing each other's specialisms.
"The job is something we enjoy and we've carried on doing it – we've not really thought about anything else.
"We always wanted to do it and we were lucky enough to be able to."
Mrs Lawson said the couple wouldn't be doing anything special to celebrate reaching the milestone, adding she was "quite happy to enjoy what we are doing at the school".
The school, which has pupils aged three to 11, was recently rated as being "good" across all categories by Ofsted inspectors earlier this year. Inspectors described Cleve House, which has about 100 pupils aged between three and 11, as being "a good school which successfully meets its aims".
Pupils were commended for their behaviour and for their ability to develop strong relationships with friends and teachers.