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Alumni Profile

Gordon Minto

Gordon Minto

Cert Ed Primary Secondary English 1969

Gordon Minto overcame adversity to make a difference to hundreds of vulnerable children’s lives over the course of his career. 

After completing his Certificate in Education in 1969, he immediately went into teaching at Pennywell School where he also cultivated his interest in helping disadvantaged children as a Pastoral Head. 

“As a Pastoral Head, I had a lot of dealings with families, external agencies like the Social Services, the Probation Service and all of the support services. That experience was very good in preparing me for what came next.” 

After over two decades at Pennywell, Gordon decided to pursue his passion for helping those most in need. Initially teaching in a children’s home, he went on to become a deputy head at a special school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

However, tragedy struck for Gordon in 1996 when he broke his leg in an accident. The resulting disability prevented him from teaching vulnerable children again. However, through pure determination and the will to help others, he forged out a second career. 

He found work as an education manager for a Foster Agency, a role he would continue in until his retirement in 2013. Working alongside teachers and support workers, he helped to ensure that disadvantaged and vulnerable children received the highest education possible, giving them much needed stability in their lives. 

For Gordon, the job was truly inspiring and hugely enlightening. He said: “I loved the job. It was absolutely wonderful. Looking after the most vulnerable children was really challenging, but also hugely rewarding.” 

Through his work, Gordon provided support to a truly diverse range of children, working in over 150 colleges, primary and secondary schools across the country, enabling him to stay in the learning environment he had always wanted to work in and loved being a part of. 

Although Gordon’s dream at the College of Education had been to work as a teacher, he found that one of his true passions lay in working with children in need of extra support. He worked beyond his expected retirement age, displaying energy and enthusiasm beyond his years, which was evident until the day he retired. 

He recalled: “I’ve had a very privileged career. I was 66 when I retired. If I’d been teaching I probably would have retired, because I guess I wouldn’t have had the energy. But, I was happy to carry on working.” 

Gordon still looks back on his career with great fondness and a sense of genuine pride at the work he has done. 

“I had a great career and I loved every minute of it.”

Article written by Matthew Shevlin, University of Sunderland Journalism graduate.  

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