School pay tribute to former chair of governors

Staff and students at Alsop High School have acknowledged the sudden passing of its former chair of governors, Marilyn Fielding. Marilyn was one of the longest serving governors in Liverpool.

Mr Paul Masher, headteacher at Alsop said: “Marilyn was chair of governors at Alsop for over 30 years. Whilst I never had the pleasure to meet or work with Marilyn personally, the tributes made by staff, former students and members of our community demonstrate that her life was one of service to both our school and Walton.

“Her legacy is interwoven into the fabric of Alsop, and we will ensure that there is a lasting memorial to her dedicated service to education and young people. 

“Selfless people like Marilyn are like rare diamonds and as a community we are blessed to have had her support; she will be greatly missed and we send our sincere condolences to her husband Cliff and the Fielding family.”

One Alsop parent wrote: “Deepest condolences. Thank you Marilyn, for your dedication and all you did in and around our local neighbourhood. We are saddened to hear of her passing. God Bless.”

During her time as chair of governors, the school grew in numbers and the Queens Drive site benefitted from several capital building programmes. Mrs Fielding was delighted to secure funding to build the Alsop Lifestyles Sports Centre, a purpose-built performing arts facility, and a new IT building.

The school was also totally refurbished and £22 million was invested in the construction of the Jamieson Building, named after former headteacher Mr Phil Jamieson, OBE.

Mr Jamieson, headteacher (1997 – 2011) said: “I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing and working with Marilyn Fielding for many years. She made a massive contribution not only to Alsop High School, but also the community of Walton and the city of Liverpool as a whole.

“In my role as headteacher of Alsop, she gave me immense support and her huge contribution to the school cannot be under-estimated. During her tenure as chair of governors, the school grew to be the largest community comprehensive school in the city and one of the most successful. Her commitment and dedication were unparalleled and her loss is massive to everyone at the school and the local community.

“My thoughts are with her family at this very sad time – she may be gone but she will never be forgotten, and she will be remembered for her wonderful qualities and inspiring leadership.”

Many tributes have also been received from former students. Scott Garrity now headteacher at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Ashbourne said: “Such a loss for the school and her family but also such a legacy left behind. Marilyn Fielding showed me such lovely hospitality when I returned to my boyhood school. A great woman, a great Alsopian. Goodnight Marilyn.”

Marilyn was a much-respected local politician and served County Ward with pride for over 21 years. She went beyond politics and parties and she was a very caring and passionate force of good. Tributes to Marilyn have been paid by councillors of all political parties including leader of Liverpool Liberal Democrats, Councillor Richard Kemp, CBE said: “Marilyn served as a Liberal Democrat councillor for over two decades. She was a true daughter of Liverpool and Walton in particular.”

Councillor Jane Corbett, deputy elected Mayor of Liverpool said: “Marilyn was a good woman who was totally committed and worked so hard to serve the people of Walton.”

Deputy Mayor Cllr Jane Corbett  (Everton Ward), said: “Marilyn was a respected and long serving member of the Council. I became a councillor in 2002 so I knew Marilyn well. She loved Alsop School but with love that was based on action, hard work, commitment and integrity.

“Martin Luther King would say, you need to have a tough mind and a tender heart (based on Jesus’ encouragement to his disciples to be ‘wise as serpents and gentle as doves’). Marilyn certainly had a ‘tough mind and a tender heart’, something much needed in a good ward Cllr, a good executive member and a good chair of governors. Marilyn leaves a strong and positive legacy behind her at the school and will be sadly missed.”

Marilyn retired from the former governing body in October 2020. One of her final projects was to help establish a new charitable foundation, The Alsop Foundation CIO. The objects of the charity include providing additional support to Alsop students and their families.

At the launch of the Alsop Foundation Marilyn wrote: “We are delighted Alsop has established a charitable foundation to support young people and some of the most vulnerable families here in north Liverpool. I am very proud and will always remember how Alsop supported families during the COVID-19 pandemic during a very difficult period of peoples’ lives.”

Therefore, as fitting tribute to Marilyn a book of condolence has been opened at the school. Also, the Trustees of the Alsop Foundation are collecting monies in memory of her life of service to others.

Donations to the Marilyn Fielding Fund should be sent to The Alsop Foundation, c/o Alsop High School, Queens Drive, Liverpool L4 6SH – Cheques should be made payable to “The Alsop Foundation.”

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