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News > Fondly Remembered > WETTON, Frank (Staff Member 1953 - 1992)

WETTON, Frank (Staff Member 1953 - 1992)

During Mr Wetton’s time at Cheadle Hulme School (1953–1992) he inspired generations of students as Head of Classics and Careers. Many of you will also remember his wife, former CHS Teacher of French Brenda, and his children (Jennifer, Steve, Paul and Catherine) who attended the School.

Michael Scaife, former Deputy Head of History, shares some of his memories of his friend and colleague.

“The school played a big part in Frank’s life, but he also played a big role in the life of the school.

Arriving at CHS in 1953, he must be the almost the last, if not the last, member of staff appointed by the legendary T.T.R ( Tommy) Lockhart. He served under five more heads: Douglas Whiting, Leslie Johnston, David Wilcox, Colin Firth and Donald Wilkinson, retiring in 1992 after 39 years.

When I first knew him, I recall that Frank was teaching Latin from beginners to A level. It goes without saying that he was a good teacher and he and Wal Greenhalgh, the Head of Classics, formed a strong team. When Wal retired in 1975, Frank took over as Head of the Classics Department and over the next 17 years, the department continued to flourish under his leadership. Furthermore, he added Russian to his classroom repertoire.

However, if you ask Old Waconians of the 1970s and 1980s what they associate first and foremost with Frank I think most of them would say Careers. His most important contribution to the school was to build up a Careers Department which I would claim was second to none in the independent sector at that time.

Under Frank’s direction the school joined the Independent Schools Careers Organisation, and he established links with the Stockport careers Service. Careers Conventions were now organised by our own Careers Department and became biennial. (Much time and effort was devoted to cultivating links with universities and the Careers Department became the focal point of university applications, especially with regard to personal statements and references from the school.) In the competitive market of independent schools in the South Manchester/ North East Cheshire area, the school’s reputation depended to a large extent on its success in getting students into universities and the Careers Department which Frank built up in the 70s and 80s was a crucial element in this.

It goes without saying that a man with such long experience and such an important role in the school was a key member of Heads of Department meetings. His advice was always thoughtful and not always what you expected. The rookie teacher of 1953 became the respected elder statesman of 1992.

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