LONG-serving Tenbury headteacher Jill Grant will be missing when pupils return in September.

Jill is retiring after nearly 40 years in teaching – the last seven of them as head of Tenbury Primary School.

Reflecting upon her time in the profession she says that teaching and young people have changed a great deal.

The headteacher says that ‘goal posts’ have been changed on many occasions and that teaching now involved a lot more paperwork than when she started out back in 1978.

But Jill who was presented with a ‘leaver’s certificate’ in a service at St Mary’s Church before the end of the term says that working with children has always remained at the heart of her love of teaching.

“Thinking back to when I first started teaching in Kent, 39 years ago, I’ve seen many changes in education – the curriculum has changed more times than I can count, the paperwork has increased enormously, children seem to spend most of their free time on I-pads, X-boxes and mobile phones and the government seem to keep changing the goal posts,” she said.

“Despite this however, children have always been at the heart of everything I’ve done – watching them learn, grow and develop never ceases to inspire me. They’re all so different and interesting, and I can honestly say that life in school is never dull!

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Tenbury Primary – the children and their families, the staff, governors and the whole community have been great and all very supportive.

“It really has felt like being part of a large family and I shall miss everyone.

“Teaching is more than a career, it’s a way of life, as thoughts about school are never out of your mind. I know I will continue thinking about TPS for a very long time, and will watch its future developments with great interest."

Jill Grant became head at Tenbury Primary in 2010 and has seen changes during that period including the transformation to become an academy.

Mark Yarnold, head of governors, has paid tribute to her work.

“Since she has been at Tenbury, the school has gone from strength to strength and its pupil numbers has steadily grown to almost full capacity,” he said.

“She has led the school with great professionalism and is extremely popular with pupils, parents, governors and all those that she connects with in her role.

“Her leadership has seen the school through many changes including converting to an academy in February 2016 and becoming part of the Bishop Anthony Educational Trust.

“The children are at the heart of everything that Jill does with all decisions being based around what is best for the education and wellbeing of the children. She supports everything the school does including so many outside events that the children may be involved with.

"To say she goes that extra mile is an understatement as she goes many miles beyond.

“She will be sadly missed but will be enjoying a very well earned retirement.”