A NORTHUMBERLAND school community has received some shock news from its headteacher.
Gill Philip has been absent from Pegswood First School for a few months and in a letter that was sent to parents last week, she announced her sudden retirement.
She thanked all those who had sent messages of support during her time off school.
“After 16 very happy years at the school, I am taking retirement as from March 14,” Mrs Philip added.
“It has been a delight and great privilege to lead Pegswood First School. I have always felt blessed to be part of such a fantastic team of teachers and community.
“The future for Pegswood First School looks bright and I wish you all great happiness in the future.”
The letter includes a section written by chair of governors Claire Brind.
She said: “On behalf of all the staff and governors, we wish Mrs Philip a long and happy retirement.
“Andrew Waterfield will remain as acting head until the governors appoint a new head.”
The school last received an Ofsted inspection in 2012 – it was rated good, with some outstanding features. The areas that received the top grade included ICT, behaviour and safety, the curriculum and special educational needs.
Pupils get involved in a range of activities and fund-raising. On Friday, they completed two laps of the school field and a total of £120 was collected for Sport Relief.
Northumberland County Council said it was “unable to comment on the circumstances of individual employees” but the county councillor for Pegswood, Alan Sambrook, paid tribute to her efforts.
He said: “We had an excellent headteacher prior to Mrs Philip taking on the role and she has been just as good at moving the school forward.
“I wish her all the best for her retirement and, like her predecessor, she will be a hard act to follow.”
l Pegswood First School is the venue for a special event this evening.
The 1st Pegswood Brownies is celebrating its 50th anniversary and those who used to be in the group are invited to come along to share their memories and bring any things they have from their time as a Brownie.
There will also be a number of photographs on display at the event, which will take place from 6.15pm to 7.30pm.