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School’s out for head who calls time on career after 37 years

Retiring headteacher Christina Turnell with pupils and staff at Weston Hills Primary School.

Retiring headteacher Christina Turnell with pupils and staff at Weston Hills Primary School.

The end of term at Weston Hills Primary School on Wednesday will be a permanent one for retiring headteacher Christina Turnell.

While almost 25 Year 6 students will move on to secondary education when the school year ends tomorrow, Mrs Turnell (59) can look forward to opening a new chapter of her life after 22 years as head of the village school in Learning Lane.

Mrs Turnell will be succeeded by Jane Fitzgerald who lives in Bourne and is currently school leader at a primary academy in Rutland.

“I’m 60 this year and I’ve been in teaching for 37 years,” said Mrs Turnell.

“But with so many changes coming in September, including a new curriculum and new code of practice, I thought it was the right time to go.

“I’ve always had a fantastic team of staff, children, parents and governors here at Weston Hills and one of the highlights during my time was becoming one of the first Beacon Schools both nationally and in Lincolnshire.

“We also had some fantastic Ofsted inspections, school productions and moving into our new building in 2005.”

Mrs Turnell took over as headteacher in September 1992 and five years later, it became one of the first primary schools in the country to be awarded Beacon School status by the Government, allowing to share “good practice” with schools performing less well in Lincolnshire.

“When I started at Weston Hills, there were 37 children but now we have 150 so we’ve grown and grown,” Mrs Turnell said.

“But now I plan to move to Norfolk where I’ll have a lot more time to walk the dog, do some voluntary work in King’s Lynn, play golf and try to keep fit.”

Chairman of governors Ian Weller said: “On behalf of all the governors, I’d like to thank Christina for her effort and commitment in what she’s done for the school in raising standards and keeping the children happy and safe in a changing educational system.”

 

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