The education world is a poorer place following the sudden death of Preston headteacher Mick Charnock.
Mick, head at Greenlands Primary for the past 12 years and also deputy at both Ingol and Chaucer primaries in Fleetwood during his career, was more than just a school teacher or a boss.
Those who knew him have described him as a true gentlemen and someone who was absolutely devoted to his job. It was his life and soul.
It was clear to all who knew him that Mick was determined to improve the quality of life for the children in his care, many of whom didn’t have the best start in life.
He believed that school should be a safe haven and he was absolutely committed, without doubt, to making sure every pupil benefitted from being there.
Thanks to his determination and devotion, Greenlands Community Primary became the focal point of the Ribbleton estates it serves – a place where children like to be and thrive.
His legacy was affirmed d when Ofsted inspectors repeatedly noted: “Your leadership of the school can be summed up in two words: passion and commitment.
“This is a school which places itself squarely at the heart of its community and is determined to be the cornerstone of enrichment and development, not only for its pupils but also for the community which it serves.
“Your pupils are at the heart of everything you do. Your determination to provide a high-quality education is exemplary.”
Inspectors also applauded his determination “to leave no stone unturned in your duty to keep pupils safe” and that was evident in the warm and caring atmosphere which pervade this inner city school.
The ever-modest head said he was just doing his job the best he could and always attributed praise to teamwork; staff, pupils and parents.
He never sought personal plaudits, but made sure his schoold received the recognition they deserved inthe public arena.
As one former colleague said: “He took on Greenlands when the school needed strong leadership and stability, he provided that and it was a credit to him.”
That was evident only days before his death when he, along with pupils, attended the launch of a reading campaign aimed driving up standards.
Anecdotes abound but none sum up Mick Charnock’s devotion more than the recollection provided by former Kennington and Sherwood headteacher David Fann.
“On a snowy day when he worked at Ingol, he couldn’t get in from his home in Blackpool, so he walked all the way only to find the school shut.He ended up having snowball fights with the few kids that had turned up. “