Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of our former colleague and father-of-four, Mr. Neil Barham, who has died at the age of 68.

Loving tributes have been paid to Neil, who worked at St Joseph’s School for 23 years.  Neil was a much-loved teacher and Senior Leader, who made a lasting impression and was greatly respected by everyone.

We will remember with fondness his humour, games and impromptu practical demonstrations which kept pupils and staff alike enjoying his lessons, and we all knew the scary voice he had in reserve for when it was needed to keep us all on our toes!  Always done with the best interests of the children, and with a twinkle that softened the impact!

Mr Barham was an expert of residential school trips and was legendary when it came to the annual Isle of Wight trip. He never failed to trick the children when it came to the ferry crossing, asking them if they had their passports and Isle of Wight currency ready!

Mr Barham was particularly accomplished with school sports, and he championed the boy’s football team for many years, encouraging the children to do their absolute best. He was renowned for his full participation in the yearly fun run, and many of us remember with absolute delight his dressing up one particular year in full ‘smurf’ costume, complete with head-to-toe blue paint!

Neil checked in and visited us over the last number of years since his retirement and continued to be interested in and impressed by the changes and improvements at St Joseph’s. We shall miss him greatly.

We will remember with love Neil’s larger than life character, ‘Sharon’ his blue car, Mars bars, cheeky smiles and belly laughs, his commitment and dedication to the welfare of the children in his care, and the joy of his teaching.

May he Rest in Peace.