Ken Oxspring

LEGENDARY teacher at Caistor Grammar School, Ken Oxspring has died at the age of 79, after a long illness.

He passed away in Leicester Royal Infirmary on Wednessday, June 15.

Much of his career was spent as Deputy Head at the school after he moved to Lincolnshire, but he will be best remembered by more recent students for his service as a supply teacher particularly in languages and sport.

His support for the school continued long after he retired and he went into school to attend events even until a month ago.

Originally from the Barnsley area, he started teaching in 1959 after four and a half years in the arm.

After two years compulsory national service, he decided to stay on.

He had obtained a degree at Sheffield University in languages before going into the army.

Having enjoyed his own school days, Ken decided to become a teacher himself.

With this in mind, he moved as an officer into the education corps and it was then a natural progression into teaching.

His career began unusually in that he had not been demobbed and was based in Lancashire when he took a post at Ilkley.

He moved to the Yorkshire Dales when he finally left the army and then continued his career in Lancashire.

Ken Oxspring arrived at Caistor Grammar School in 1970 and continued there until he retired at 60 in 1992.

He taught mainly French, but helped with games and school play productions.

With colleague Peter Taylor, he took students to France in the summer holidays on camping trips. He ran 26 such trips and later the trips extended to Yugoslavia, Spain and Italy.

In retirement, he was used often as a supply for games.

He was the starter at sports Day on many occasions and worked hard to see school plays through to production.

He also took football teams in the winter and umpired cricket in the summer.

Living near the school, he was frequently asked to help out at short notice when colleagues were ill.

Headteacher at Caistor Grammar School, Roger Hale said: “Ken was a really outstanding schoolmaster, the best of what teachers should be.

”He had a tremendous enthusiasm for many things.

“His relationship with students was special and continued long after he retired.

“Serving this school was a big part in his life.

“He was also a masterly raconteur, very witty and entertaining, reflecting a genuine love of life.

“His last visit to the school was just a month ago, when he joined us for the opening of our new music and food technology suite. He really wanted to be there despite being very ill and he saw it as saying farewell.”

Mr Oxspring’s funeral was held in Caistor Parish Church on Monday, June 27.