The inspirational Headteacher of St Michael’s Church of England High School in Rowley Regis, Mrs Jayne Gray, sadly died on Wednesday 6th October, following a courageous fight against cancer.

Mrs Gray took over as Headteacher in September 2016, having previously held leadership posts at Lode Heath School in Solihull and Grace Academy in Darlaston.

Everyone at the school is shocked and heartbroken by the devastating news of Mrs Gray’s death and both internal and external support teams are currently available in school to help students and staff through this difficult time. In an announcement on the school’s website, Chair of Governors, Colin Nicholls, acknowledged the five years of outstanding service that she gave to the school and said that “her legacy and vision would live on at St Michael’s in everything we do.”

Simon Lakin, St Michael’s Lead on Ethos, said “Mrs Gray’s values and vision shaped this school; anyone who ever met her knew that every ounce of her being was determined to help all of us flourish and grow, as individuals and as a school community. She lived and embodied our school values – to show love, care and compassion to all.”

Senior Deputy Headteacher, Christina Handy-Rivett, said that “Mrs Gray dealt with her illness with a tenacious, optimistic and practical attitude throughout her treatment. In living with her diagnosis, she continued to successfully lead St Michael’s, always putting the students and school community before her own needs. As a Leadership Team, we are privileged to have worked with her and she will be greatly missed; she was an aspirational leader and mentor and we will continue to uphold everything she stood for.”

Sarah Smith, Birmingham Diocesan Director of Education, said “Mrs Gray embodied the very essence of excellence in Church School leadership. This wonderful school community has flourished under her commitment to living out a Christian vision and the desire to provide the best educational opportunities for all.”

Mrs Handy-Rivett said that thoughts and prayers are with Mrs Gray’s family and the school would work with them to ensure a fitting memorial at the school.

In the meantime, a book of condolence will be opened from Monday 11th to Friday 15th October, between 8.00am and 5.00pm, for members of the community and former students/parents to pay their respects.

A Prayer for Mrs Gray

7th October 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that our much-loved and respected Headteacher, Mrs Jayne Gray, passed away yesterday.

 

Students are being notified this morning within their form groups, where they will receive support and time for reflection. We are working closely with members of Sandwell’s Critical Incident Support team to help students and staff over the next few days, as they process this devastating news.

 

Over the coming weeks, we will make plans to honour the memory of Mrs Gray and the five years of outstanding service she gave to the school – her legacy and vision will live on at St Michael’s in everything we do. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs Gray’s family at this very sad time.

 

God bless you all.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Colin Nicholls

Chair of the Governing Board