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Chairman of Governors Retires

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Michael Griffiths has retired as Chairman of the Governing Body at Bolton School. Mr Griffiths, who is a former pupil of the School (1958-1965) and former School Captain, served as a governor for 33 years and took over as Chairman in 2007 from Sir Alan Cockshaw.  

The School paid tribute to him at a black-tie dinner. Over 130 guests gathered, including members of Michael’s family; the Mayor of Bolton, Hilary Fairclough; Governors; Former Governors; supporters of the School’s Bursary fund; representatives of the Old Boltonians’ and Old Girls’ Associations; representatives from both the academic and support staff and others, joined together at the event to honour Michael’s service to the School. 

There were speeches from the Headmistress of the Girls’ Division Sue Hincks and Headmaster of the Boys’ Division Philip Britton as well as from the Incoming Chairman of the Governing Body Ian Riley, Mr Griffiths’ daughter Lisa Jacobs and former Governor Ross Warburton MBE. All praised Mr Griffiths’ incredible dedication to the School, which has seen him as pupil, member of the Old Boltonians’ Association including periods as Secretary (1980-1988) and President (1998-1999) and member of the Governing Body since 1986. During his time as Chairman, he has overseen the building of a new Infant School, a new Junior Girls’ School and the extension of the Junior Boys’ School as well as the recent construction of the Riley Sixth Form Centre, the purchase of the outdoor learning centre Patterdale Hall in the Lake District and the installation of a new all-weather sports surface. However, it was noted through the tributes, that arguably Mr Griffiths’ greatest contribution to the school has been his foresight and tenacity in developing the School’s Bursary Fund. His own experience as a recipient of a Direct Grant, which allowed him to study at Bolton School, instilled in him the belief that such an education should be open to all capable children irrespective of family circumstances. Due to his passion in growing this fund, the School now operates one of the largest bursary schemes in the country, enabling one in five pupils to receive financial support for their education. 

On the night, guests enjoyed perusing a display illustrating the many and varied aspects that combine to create the unique character of the School - from outdoor pursuits to scouting, music to volunteering - during a drinks reception in the Girls’ Division Great Hall, before processing through to the Boys’ Division Great Hall for dinner. 

Earlier that day, Michael accepted the honour of becoming an Emeritus Governor – an appointment which had previously been unanimously approved by the Governing Body in recognition of Michael’s extraordinary career of service to the Foundation, and the desire to retain his extensive experience and knowledge of the School. 

Mr Ian Riley will take over as the new Chairman of Governors. Mr Riley joined the Governing Body in 2014. He is an Old Boy of the School (1974-1981) and has enjoyed a distinguished career in private equity.

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