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Fond farewell to popular Thurlby headteacher

Pupils and staff have bid a fond farewell to their headteacher as he retired after 23 years at the helm.

Graham Clegg retired from Thurlby Primary School after working at two other schools in Lincolnshire.

Mr Clegg trained at the Kesteven College of Education before starting his career at Deeping St James Primary School. He worked there from 1978 until 1992 before taking up the position of deputy headteacher at St Gilbert’s Primary School in Stamford.

He became headteacher at Thurlby on April 24, 1995 and said goodbye to the school on Thursday last week.

Mr Clegg said: “I have mixed feelings about retirement. It’s an extremely rewarding job and it’s a privilege to see so many children grow in confidence and enjoy their learning.

“I’m looking forward to retirement but will miss the job.”

Mr Clegg was inspired to become a teacher while working in the reprographics department of a secondary school.

He said: “It was my experiences there that made me decide that’s what I wanted to do.

“There have been so many changes in education since then. The workload for teachers has increased massively, the inspection process and there have been changes in the curriculum.”

Mr Clegg, who lives in Market Deeping, has seen many families come and go over the years but is always pleased to hear what the children go on to do with their lives.

He said: “So many of them make themselves known to me if I see them and to hear about their successes later in life is lovely.”

The school hosted a farewell assembly for Mr Clegg last week. Each class presented him with a card and he received a gift from parents, staff and governors.

The staff also wrote a goodbye song to the tune of Jingle Bells which they performed on Mr Clegg’s last day.

The 64-year-old is now looking forward to spending more time with his partner Sue and enjoying his gardening hobby.

He added: “After getting through Christmas and enjoying a rest, we’ll also be getting the travel brochures out and looking forward to taking holidays in term time.”

Thurlby Primary School has been granted an academy order after its latest Ofsted inspection. In January Katherine Finch, the deputy headteacher at Bourne Westfield Primary Academy, will become the interim headteacher.

It may take until September 2019 for a permanent headteacher to be appointed.

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