John Foggin obituary


My pal and former colleague John Foggin, who has died aged 80, was head of English at Boston Spa college close to Leeds earlier than turning into an area schooling authority adviser on English after which shifting on to coach academics of English and literacy. In retirement he solid a brand new identification as a author of highly effective and evocative poetry.

Born in Batley, West Yorkshire, to George, a woollen spinner, and Marjorie (nee Terry), a mill employee, John attended Batley grammar college earlier than graduating in English from Durham College in 1964.

An inspirational English instructor who had a placing impression on pupils and colleagues alike, he started his profession at Middlesbrough boys’ highschool earlier than shifting to Northern Counties Faculty in Newcastle upon Tyne.

He went on to be head of English at Boston Spa, the place he and I met, from 1975 to 1985 earlier than turning into English and drama adviser at Calderdale native schooling authority in West Yorkshire. Certainly one of his first duties there was to plot the English paper for the authority’s eleven-plus examination, an irksome duty for an advocate of complete schooling.

In 1993 he switched to instructor coaching at Bretton Corridor Faculty of Schooling (now a part of Leeds College), the place he efficiently persuaded a technology of trainee academics that there was extra to educating English than SATs and the nationwide literacy technique.

Retirement in 2008 allowed him to present extra consideration to Batley’s rugby league group, which he had supported since childhood, and to make extra frequent visits to the Isle of Skye, which he beloved. He typically mentioned that if the island had possessed a rugby league group, then he would have moved there for good.

With extra time on his arms John additionally targeted on writing his poetry, which gained a lot of nationwide prizes and was revealed in two collections, Recommendation to a Traveller (2018) and Pressed for Time (2022).

In 1992 he suffered a private tragedy when his son, David, took his personal life, aged 21 – a circumstance on which he mirrored movingly on his web site, The Nice Fogginzo’s Cobweb, which he arrange in 2014.

John is survived by his spouse, Joan (nee Rogers), whom he married in 2022 after greater than 35 years collectively, three kids, Julie, Michael and Andrew, from his first marriage to Nina (nee Giant), which resulted in divorce, a son, Morgan, from Joan’s earlier marriage, and 10 grandchildren.


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