Su Bailey

It is with a heavy heart that we write to inform you of the passing of Su Bailey, a member of our office staff with over 20 years of service at Forge and our predecessor school, Heathfield.

Whilst our students are the heart of our school, it’s the people that make it tick. They don’t need to be teachers either. Su was our finance officer but you may have come across her in several guises. At Prize Giving, she will have been marshalling the troops. During open events, you will have met her in reception greeting families warmly with a big, warm, local smile. She’d order flowers, organise chocolate at Easter and arrange catering for leavers. During the day, as well as many other things, she would answer phones, administer first aid and wish your day on the way with a kind word and a smile. She would go out of her way to make sure things ran smoothly and everyone was included.

Su was our Academy ‘goto’, whenever you needed anything, nothing was too much trouble; when the kitchen was short-staffed, she’d roll her sleeves up and help out to make sure the students were fed. Su also deeply loved counselling students who had been going through bereavement, her compassion and warmth helped many young people at their toughest time. Su was proud of our community and her dedication to our young people was relentless. Whilst we had missed her over the last few months due to shielding, we still felt her presence every single day and she continued to support staff and students.

In better times, a chat with Su lifted your day. Her pride burst from her very soul especially when it came to her grandchildren. She loved her family and loved to talk about them and she always asked about your family. She called people bab and she cared about everyone. She was the embodiment of the Forge family, she may have even coined the phrase. Family was everything to her and she was everything to us.

Su was a devoted wife to Mark - together for 41 years, a loving mother to Emma and Mark and an important figure in the lives of her five grandchildren. Su’s family are an important part of Forge, with her daughter, Emma Chambers, working beside her as a science teacher. Su has one grandchild currently within the Academy and a second grandchild starts with us in September. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.

Su leaves us all with a most incredible legacy, the matriarch of her family and the Forge family. We will work together to find a way to permanently remember Su and to ensure that she continues to teach the Forge students of tomorrow the importance of kindness and family.

The greatest tribute we can pay to Su right now is to remember the difference she made, and the happiness she brought, to so many lives in a career of service to our young people.

Goodnight Su, we love you and we’ll miss you.