After 12 years of immersing herself in the “educational family” of Kineton High School, headteacher Julia Morris is feeling very sad about taking her retirement this month.
But the 60-year-old, who trained as a teacher in Brighton in the 1970s, feels it is the right time for her to pass on the baton.
With a warm attachment to the school, its students, staff and governors, Ms Morris is making sure she leaves in style - and has thrown a ‘reunion prom’ on Saturday with present and past colleagues.
Having joined as headteacher in September 2002, Ms Morris has seen a lot of changes. She said: “Results have transformed: last year we were in the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust list of top 20 per cent of schools for high attainment in end of Key Stage 4 and we were in the Financial Times’ top 1,000 schools list for post 16 performance.
“These things are a matter of great pride.”
Ms Morris is also particularly proud of the international relationships the school has formed since she took part in a British Council-led headteachers’ visit to Sri Lanka in 2006, as well as the sporting ethos the school has developed since it became a specialist sports college in 2003.
She said: “I think of the school as a family. Everyone here knows that Kineton High is their educational home. I will miss the students terribly.”
Although she is retiring as headteacher, the grandmother-of-four plans on doing freelance consultancy work on school leadership and she will also carry on with her role as an Ofsted inspector.
She said: “For me, it’s the right time to leave. Headship is very demanding and not a nine-to-five job - it’s a way of life.”
Siona Robson will take over as headteacher in September.