The headteacher at Oldswinford Hospital School (OSH) has led tributes to a predecessor who he says made the school what it is today.

Christopher Potter OBE, who was head of the Heath Lane school from 1978 until 2001, has died aged 83.

Mr Potter passed away in Crete on August 23 and his funeral took place at the Anglican Church of St Thomas in Kefalas on September 2.

Current OSH headteacher, Paul Kilbride, said: “Chris both led and served OSH for 23 years as Headmaster, and he did so with distinction. Without Chris’s energy, foresight and conviction, the OSH we all know would not be here today.

“In so many ways, Chris is still very much with us. Our love of learning, our traditions, architecture, aspirations and our identity are all indebted to him.”

Mr Potter was born in Worcester eight days before the start of World War Two. Coming from a family of educators, he was the son of Cedric Potter, a headteacher at Worcester Royal Grammar school, and Phyl Rendall, the daughter of a founding manager of the Eagle Oil Shipping Company.

Growing up with his siblings including brother Timothy born in 1944 and sister Susan in 1951, Mr Potter remembered the difficulties of rationing, air raids and a V-bomb falling on his grandparents’ house near London.

After the war, he went to Hildersham House School and March Grammar School where he developed a love for classics and archaeology. It was this love that drove him to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1957 to study classics, whilst he also went on excavations with his brother at Grandford House where they discovered a Roman settlement.

In 1960, he followed his father and grandfather into education and became the third generation to attend Cambridge University’s Teacher Training Faculty. Within a year, he was appointed to the classics department at Ardingly College in Sussex where he would sneak in visits for pupils to archaeological sites and eventually helped the school become the first in the country to offer archaeology on the syllabus.

In 1978, Mr Potter became head of OSH where he transformed the school over 23 years. From becoming one of the first Grant Maintained Schools in 1989 to topping the national GCSE league tables in 1991, he helped increase funding for students from deprived areas.

He is remembered fondly by previous students who recall his firm but fair approach and ability to learn the names of every new pupil.

Mr Potter retired in 2001 after receiving his OBE for services to education with one former pupil calling him ‘one of the most successful headmasters of his time’.

During retirement, he settled in Ludlow before spending more time in Crete where he passed away peacefully at home on 23 August.

He is survived by wife, Charlotte, whom he married in 1971, five children and six grandchildren.

The current OSH headteacher said there will be another commemoration at St Mary’s Church on Founder’s Day, which will take place on Friday October 27.