Tributes to inspirational leader

Tributes have been paid to a forward thinking headmaster who was the first to lead a Hemel Hempstead school.

Arthur Hayward, who has died at the age of 87, was the first head at newly built Cavendish School.

Richard Dodd, who was employed by Mr Hayward as a chemistry teacher at the Warners End Road school in 1965, said: "He was a great inspiration. It was a time when schools were much freer. It was a place that was buzzing with ideas.

"So many feel they owe so much to him. He was an inspiration to work for."

When Mr Hayward was appointed headteacher in 1959 there was no school - it still had not been built, no pupils and he was the only member of staff.

His son Peter Hayward said: "He decided only to appoint enthusiasts to the staff whenever possible - even if they came from a non-teaching background and as the new buildings went up, he insisted on improvements including an indoor swimming pool.

"This was a school where there were no school rules. The students were told to use their common sense and if something was stupid, not to do it."

After 12 years of building the school into one of the best, the father of two decided it was time to move on. In 1971 he took the post of head at Bodmin School in Cornwall.

The following year, Cornwall Education Committee instituted comprehensive education throughout the county and Mr Hayward was responsible for merging the two Bodmin secondary schools into a single comprehensive entity.

Retired Mr Dodd, of Gravelhill Terrace in Boxmoor, said pupils and staff from Hemel Hempstead still remember the headteacher fondly. "He had a completely holistic view of education and allowed young staff to really take their courage into their hands because they devised their own curriculum in those days. He had great confidence in his staff. People felt they could be innovative," he said.

At his home in Cornwall, Mr Hayward was a keen gardener and a Rotary member. He retired in 1984, but still maintained a passion for education by becoming a school governor and a trainer for the Rotary Youth Speaks competition.

In recent years he and his wife Sadie moved to Gloucestershire to be near their sons Michael and Peter.

The headteacher's funeral was held at Holy Trinity Church in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire on Friday, June 18.