TRIBUTES have been pouring in for a popular former headteacher who died last week after suffering a stroke earlier this year.
Ruth Kirkley was head at Twickenham Girls' School, in Clifden Road, from 1977 and became the first headteacher of Waldegrave School, when Twickenham and Kneller Girls' schools amalgamated in 1980.
A firm supporter of single sex education, she lead the school for 11 years, retiring in 1991.
Miss Kirkley began her teaching career in the north-east and then taught in Hong Kong. She became deputy head at Garrett School, in Wandsworth, and then took a post at Battersea County School, before moving to Twickenham.
During her retirement she remained active, travelling around the world and publishing her memoirs in a book called Thursday's Child.
A member of All Saints Church in Kingston,she sand with the Teddington and Hampton choral societies. She was also a history fanatic and volunteered as a guide at the Victoria and Albert museum.
Current deputy headteacher Rose Barling is one of 10 teachers still at the school who worked with Miss Kikley. “She insisted on high standards,” she said. “She established the school's reputation for academic success and we are still building on this today.”
Miss Kirkley suffered a serious stroke in May and died at Kingston Hospital on July 21, aged 74.