Book of Remembrance of

Keith Howard, Headmaster of Queen Mary's Grammar School 1979-1995

Keith Howard is sadly missed by the Queen Mary’s Grammar School community, past and present. 

Mr Howard was the 34th Headmaster of Queen Mary’s Grammar School having been appointed to the post in 1979.  His attention to detail was exceptional and his integrity unquestionable. He upheld the highest standards and he fiercly defended the notion of a grammar school education, maintaing a well-run and aspirational School. Mr Howard was involved in all aspects of life at the School: he attended all the meetings of the QMA, sang in the choir and lent his considerable knowledge on the games field.  Approachable to colleagues, parents and pupils he gave generously of his time and never failed in his thanks to others for doing their part.  Following his retirement in 1995 he continued in his support for the School and maintained his link by attending events for as long as he was able to do so.



Book Owner: Judy McCoy
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Nigel Ford QMGS 1978-85

Mr Howard became head in my second year at QM. He commanded respect and the highest of standards . He was fiercely protective of the school and it was a source of constant amusement when in a Monday assembly he would provide elaborate excuses as to why the first XV unexpectedly lost at the …


Judy McCoy - Alumni and Development Officer at Queen Mary's Grammar School

I only met Mr Howard in his later years, but I always got the impression that he was a true gentleman and a devoted husband.  His contribution to the development of Queen Mary’s helped to lay the solid foundations upon which the School is built.  Mr Howard will live on in the history of …


Sivakumar Thiru

You have in your life, a handfull of people that truly make a difference to you.  For me, that person was MY headmaster Keith Howard. He was an amazing man, the ability to instil fear in you if you did wrong, the charisma to really engage you genuinely.  He possessed such a warm side, that …


Maninder Roopra 1983-1990

Mr Howard was one of the most influential people I met in my life. I will be forever indebted for the invaluable life lessons he taught me. He will portrayed all the values of Queen Mary’s Grammar School and in my eyes was everything Queen Mary’s Grammar School stood for. Never forgotten   Quas …


Kevin Cooper 1980 - 1987

Awfully sad news. Mr Howard (I never could address him as Keith, despite prompts) always had my back though I never knew this at the time. I’m so glad we spoke about this and i could thank him for that years later. Always respected him, was one of the first positive male figures in …

Kevin Cooper

Colonel Andrew Devey MBE (QMGS 1981-1988)

It is with great sadness that I heard today of Keith Howard’s passing.  I owe a huge amount to my formative years at the School and know that everything about the Queen Mary’s that I experienced was driven by Mr Howard’s personal values, standards, energy and inspiration.  His style was more formal than is …


David Jordan (QM 1983-1990)

It’s a little difficult to pay tribute to Keith Howard in a few words, such was his presence and influence at QM. He was a polymath who threw himself into leading the school, seeking to develop the potential of all those who passed through QMGS’s doors. He had high standards and expected his pupils …


Gareth Cox

Mr Howard appointed me to my first teaching job, starting at QM in 1989. I knew I’d like the school; it was similar to the one I’d attended and I could see that he espoused what you might call ‘good old-fashioned grammar school values’, which suited me. He actually gave me a telling-off before …


Andrew Dickson

Although I had left QM a couple of years before Keith Howard’s appointment our paths crossed fairly frequently through QMC meetings and school functions. He was a good old fashioned headmaster who ruled with a rod of iron and was affectionately known by many as The Ayatollah! He chaired meetings effectively and always had …


Bev Wragg

Throughout the years that I spent teaching at QM (1974-2007), as Director of Music, Keith Howard probably saw and heard some of the finest performances and musicians whilst he was Headmaster, particularly during the 1980’s. This was, of course, no mere coincidence, for he himself was a fine performer, an attribute he passed down …


Chris Scott 84-91

Of all the nicknames, “The Boss” is a fine one to bear, isn’t it? You understood perfectly where you stood when he was in the room and even when he wasn’t. His approach was successful, but it’s only with age that you appreciate the man behind the character. The Boss took our English A …


Nick Rose 1987-1994

I have such fond memories of Mr Howard as my Headmaster. The discipline and standards he installed into all of us still stay with me today and I can’t thank him enough for that. He will be sorely missed but remembered always. …


Oliver Hawksley (QMGS 1992-99)

I vividly remember the first time I met Mr Howard at my interview prior to starting at the school. Sitting in his study he exuded a combination of authority, kindness and professionalism. He loaned me a book from his bookshelf to read over the summer and this demonstrated to me that his values of …


David Gwillam QMGS 1983-1990

Throughout my seven years at QMGS, Mr Howard led the old school with a quiet expectation of hard work and excellence from the whole school community. Whether striding the corridors with his gown billowing, or at his desk beyond the red & green office traffic lights “the Boss” was always a term of deep …


Graham Preston

I was not a pupil at the school but was a member of the fete committee when my son Richard was a pupil. I like many other people had a great deal of respect for ” The Boss “, any thing we were doing it was allways in our head ” would MR Howard …


Nirpal Kulair

Mr Howard was headmaster when I joined QMGS in 1992. To me, looking back, he represents a breed of headmaster not found too often nowadays with a very strong emphasis on pupil discipline and personal presentation. I believe his emphasis on these basics rightly underpinned the school’s excellent progress leading into the 90’s and …


Phillip Holmes MBE

Keith began his Headship at QMGS on the same day that I began my Deputy Headship at Wood Green High School in Wednesbury.  At that time I was a member of QM Club Committee and, of course, Keith was president and an ever present attender.  As a fellow linguist, teacher, semi-professional musician and sports …


Craig Bunday 1979 - 1986

Mr Howard became headmaster in my first year at QM, so he was present throughout my journey through the school. He also became my French Teacher in year 2 and coached the second team in rugby – his motto with the team being to ‘give everyone a chance’ (probably why I managed a short …


Neil Kirk QMGS 1981-1988

Mr Howard was headmaster throughout my years at QM and set incredibly high standards that set pupils up for life. We called him ‘The Boss’ but never to his face! An inspiration to many, he will be sorely missed.  …


Matt Harvey

Mr Howard was headmaster when I joined QM. He set the tone for the school – meticulously high standards, both for behaviour and for academic achievement. I’m very sorry to hear of his passing. …


Dr Philip James

Mr Howard was Headmaster during the entirety of my time as a pupil at QM. I remember him as a man who exemplified the impeccable standards he expected of others. To me, he had the calm and assured authority of a person whose expectations were clear and whose recognition for a job well done …


Chris Rolinson QM 1969-1976

While I was not a student at QM under Keith Howard, I was privileged to know him quite well during his tenure as Head, as an offical external visitor. I found him to be a man of great wisdom, extensive knowledge and above all, a man you could trust. I enjoyed all my interactions with …


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