A retiring Keighley executive headteacher paid tribute to pupils, staff, parents and governors.
Louise Smith, the executive head of the Long Lee and Ingrow Primary Schools Federation, has stepped down after 33 years in education.
Pupils at Long Lee Primary staged a surprise farewell concert for Mrs Smith featuring some of her favourite music and dance styles.
“It was just marvellous,” she said. “It was a complete surprise and very moving. It was a wonderful way to finish.
“It’s been a privilege to work with such dedicated and hard-working staff and governors. And the families of children at Long Lee and Ingrow have also been a delight to work with.”
She began her career as a history teacher at St Aidan’s Secondary School, in Harrogate. She has worked in Keighley and Bradford for 30 years and became head of Swire Smith Middle School in January 1997, then head of Long Lee Primary at the same site in 2000.
She has been the executive head of the Long Lee and Ingrow Primary Federation for three years, and said she was delighted with the progress made at both schools.
She said education was now much more “data driven” than it used to be, and felt too much time was spent emphasising targets and league tables.
“The Ofsted system has changed so many times that it’s difficult to keep up with all the requirements,” she said.
“There is relentless change which is driven by Government, and for teachers and headteachers it is a very unstable time.”
Mrs Smith, who lives in Bingley, said she would not be leaving the world of education completely. She will be working part-time with a group called the Bradford Primary Improvement Partnership.
She will co-ordinate the organisation’s leadership programme to develop a new generation of school heads and deputy heads.
Outside of work she said she was looking forward to being able to spend more time with her family. Her husband, Mike Smith, retired from his post as deputy head of Parkside School, in Cullingworth, in July.
The couple will be enjoying a cruise to the Caribbean.