Tribute to Former Headteacher Sr Josephine Barron fcJ

Gumley House School FCJ pays tribute to former Headteacher Sr Josephine Barron fcJ. We reproduce the news item from their website.

On 15th July 2023, peacefully at Kersal Hill Convent, Salford, fortified by the Rites of holy mother church, aged 96 years and in the 75th year of her religious profession. Sister Josephine will be greatly missed by her fcJ sisters, especially her sister, Sr. M Gabriel, fcJ, family and the caring staff at Kersal Hill.

Sr Brenda fcJ (also former Headteacher at Gumley House) writes:
Sr Josephine retired in 1983 after 24 years as Headteacher in Gumley. It was a time of much change and turmoil as this small, very successful convent grammar school had to morph into a comprehensive school of double the student numbers. Sr Josephine was determined to give this new school every possible chance of offering an excellent education to future students and to do this she knew that more buildings had to be built and a new curriculum had to be prepared with the right training for staff. Sr Josephine was a pioneer in introducing computers into school.

Sr Josephine’s reputation in Hounslow as a formidable Head was widely known. She had taken Gumley from being a small grammar school of 500+ students occupying two buildings to a large comprehensive school of 1000+ students occupying a campus of six buildings. A wonderful legacy for Catholic education.

Words from a former pupil: The curriculum (quite revolutionary at the time, I would think), offered opportunities to everyone, and although we were encouraged to achieve academic excellence in all areas, we were shown that such excellence was not the only marker of success. Sr Josephine’s dedication and leadership skills ensured that we left Gumley with a heightened sense of social Justice/Injustice, an appreciation of the value of the whole person and a desire to go out and ‘make a difference’ in whatever situation we would find ourselves.

She guided and led the school in a challenging era. She guided it well and her legacy lives on in the students she inspired during their time in the school.