Tribute to Ian Kirkland, founding member of the TST

Tribute to Ian Kirkland, founding member of the TST

It is with deep sadness that we report the death of Ian Kirkland, a founding Member of the Tenterden Schools Trust and a former Chair of Governors of Homewood School. Ian passed away on 7th January at the age of 70.

Ian’s support and advice, stemming from his legal background and astute mind, have been invaluable to both the school and laterally the Trust over the last 30 years. During this time he played many important roles.

Ian’s association with the Trust began as a Homewood parent, back in the 1990s. He eventually joined the Admissions Appeals Committee and became its Chair, helping to smooth the transition when the process moved over to KCC.

In 2008 he was elected as a Partnership Governor to the school’s governing body, becoming Chair in 2010 – a position he held until 2016.  During this time he also chaired the Appointment Panel which selected Mrs Sally Lees as the school’s new Principal in 2010.

Ian went on to play a crucial role in the school’s move to academy status and subsequent transition to Multi-Academy Trust in 2016, becoming a founding Member of the Trust. He continued to be an integral part of Homewood School and the wider Trust until December 2020 when he took part in his last AGM meeting, held virtually due to COVID restrictions and the latest lockdown.

Sally Lees, TST CEO commented: “Ian has been unfailing in his commitment to Homewood and the wider Trust and his kindness and humanity have been a gentle and vital influence over many years.  I am personally grateful to him for his incredible support to me during his years as Chair of Governors at Homewood, firstly in offering me the position of Principal back in 2010 and then in providing such excellent support, and appropriate challenge, as I carried out my responsibilities. His calm presence and sage advice will be greatly missed by the Trust and everyone who worked with him.”

Our deepest sympathies go to Ian’s wife Elaine and their family.