Glowing tributes to much-loved Blackpool assistant headteacher

David Nicklin
David Nicklin
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Warm tributes have been paid to a much-loved and well-respected former Blackpool teacher who has died from leukaemia.

David Nicklin, former assistant headteacher at Collegiate High School in Blackpool, died overnight on Tuesday, his wife said.

He later worked at Education Diversity in Blackpool, helping youngsters with extra learning needs.

He was 54.

In his role at Collegiate, he was instrumental in raising standards and aspirations at the school and helped improve the school’s attendance records.

Wife Lindsay posted on Facebook: “It is with great sadness that I can confirm that my husband David Nicklin passed away last night after a short battle with Leukaemia.

“He was surrounded by his family and friends.

“Thank you to everyone for their kind words, thoughts and prayers at this very sad & difficult time.

“He will be deeply missed by all.”

He worked as a technology teacher at Fleetwood High between 1987-1994 and the moved on to Collegiate for 10 years before latterly working at Educational Diversity.

Chris Wardle, vice principal at Highfield Academy, worked alongside Mr Nicklin at Collegiate between 2011 and 2015.

He said: “He was a consummate professional and he cared deeply about the education of all the children in Blackpool.

“he was very committed and he would give nothing but the absolute best.

“The thing that set him apart was that he was always eager to help in any matter as long as it meant kids would succeed.

“While at Educational Diversity he helped set up a system we still use now to help track attendance and attendance has improved in school partly due to Dave’s intervention.

“He did a lot of this work in his own time and at weekends to make sure it was done properly.

“That was the type of guy he was and we will miss him all greatly.”

John Topping, acting headteacher at Collgiate between 2013-14, said: “I have known Dave for 20 years through various projects and roles across our Blackpool schools.

“As Acting Headteacher of Collegiate during some very challenging times of school amalgamation and restructuring around 2013-2014 I always considered Dave Nicklin as a loyal, hardworking professional who students and staff too would look up to.

“Dave taught design and technology to a very high standard and it was a joy for me to work alongside him in our Aspire Academy workshop as we both shared that desire to see students making items of a great quality in the GCSE courses and certainly enjoying the overall experience of being creative.

“Dave had that creative genius for generating quality news articles and photographs that helped develop Collegiate and its students towards being the best they could be. We will all miss him greatly and send our deepest sympathy to his wife and family.”

Wendy Casson, headteacher at Educational Diversity, said: “I have been so fortunate to have worked with Dave Nicklin for around 24 years, both at Collegiate and more recently at Educational Diversity.

“I am proud to have considered Dave as a friend and a colleague who has enriched the lives of so many people.

“The young people and staff he worked with here at Athena are absolutely devastated, but are united in ensuring that they remain strong and support each other, just as he would have wanted.

“Dave was a superb role model and the outpouring of messages from our school community demonstrates how much he was loved.

“As one young person has written: ‘Fly high sir, you have always been the best teacher and now you are singing with the angels. Your family at Athena will never forget you’.

“Something like this, just makes you realise how fragile life really is, but Dave has given our young people the confidence and the courage to be the best they can possible be.”