Leamington teacher who was forced to retire at 60 is still going strong six years on

SIX years after being forced to step down as head of department at a Leamington school, a Warwickshire teacher has proved there is life after compulsory retirement.

Despite leading World Challenge groups to Guatemala, Belize and Mexico, Sue Minton’s nine years as head of psychology at the Kingsley School came to an end because she had reached the age of 60.

The Courier covered her story at the time and it caused a lot of reaction.

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Now six years on, she has not left the classroom, and has since led pupils in expeditions in South Africa, the Pacific and China.

She said: “I don’t really feel old. You start getting a bit stiffer in your legs in the morning, but touch wood there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with me.

“As long as people are prepared to give me a job, there’s no reason to stop.”

In fact, it was being asked to take on World Challenge expeditions near the end of her career at Kingsley that spurred her on.

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She said: “You suddenly realise your time is limited. When I got back I said to my husband, we don’t know how long we can go on travelling, and I want to. Making the most of it is important when you still have your energy and your mobility.”

Moving to Campion School under the leadership of new headteacher Andrew Chubb, who was intent on raising standards, Mrs Minton was invigorated by the energy of the staff around her.

With World Challenge expeditions beyond the means of many pupils, she nonetheless accompanied them on a trip to China, while still taking Kingsley pupils to Cambodia and Thailand and Stratford Girls’ Grammar School pupils to Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, South Africa and Lesotho. Mrs Minton left Campion last year but has since been teaching at the Grace Academy in Coventry. Still in touch with many former pupils, travelling and being around teenagers helps her defy the date on her birth certificate. Mrs Minton said: “When I’m not working I really miss being around teenagers. They keep you young. Life is not dull outside the classroom.”

As well as singing with St Michael’s Singers at Coventry Cathedral she is planning to walk the Camino Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

She added: “I am pleased to report that there was life after compulsory retirement.”