Diary - tribute to a very brave woman

A busy day. First stop was Winfrith and Lulworth Primary School. I headed to the W Lulworth site to meet headteacher Sharon Buckland, who is sadly retiring this summer after 10 years at the school. I was met by Governor Joanne Self, who kindly took me on a guided tour of the new site. It's a massive improvement on the old school, with a very smart new hall and brighter and bigger classrooms. On the way round, we met Sharon and together we popped into three classrooms, chatting to the children and taking their questions. I much enjoy school visits and this was no exception. Naturally, the question of funding came up and I and many other colleagues are talking to the Government about the new proposed formula, which frankly does little to counter the legacy of unfairness. I spent longer at the school than planned and had to head straight to Weymouth Crematorium to attend the funeral of the lovely Gill Harler, who finally succumbed to ovarian cancer. The service was well attended, as we all knew it would be. Gill's brave and dignified husband, Anton, led his family and friends in paying tribute to his remarkable wife. The service was extremely touching, with poems, a pop song and a wonderful eulogy read by Caroline Nickinson. Gill had fought for some years to draw attention to this terrible illness and even started up her own charity which daughter Karen will now take on. All those who met Gill were touched by her, including myself. A courageous and selfless woman, she campaigned tirelessly to bring this disease to the attention of women. The Government is doing much to help in this regard and Gill was reassured by a letter she received from the minister when she asked me to write on her behalf. Back to my office mid afternoon and then out to Furzebrook Village Hall for a public meeting at 1800. That was followed by an AGM held by one of our Association branches.