THOUSANDS of former students are mourning the death of a pioneering headteacher with whom they were on first name terms.
Mr Geoff Cooksey won pupils’ approval when he banned school uniform at the newly opened Stantonbury Campus in 1974.
He then hit national headlines by insisting the students call him Geoff and address other staff by their christian names only.
The concept, designed to cut down barriers between teachers and students, carved out Stantonbury’s reputation as a successful community school.
Geoff’s unashamedly progressive ideas, which still continue today, earned him an Honorary MA from the OU for Services to Education.
“He was the most inspirational of leaders and he mentored many young teachers who went on to become headteachers themselves,” said Stantonbury’s current head Jon Adamson.
Geoff, who died on March 23 aged 86, left a legacy of intelligence at the campus – in the form of his grandson. Sixth former Tom Hare has already been offered a place Cambridge university.