Carlisle headteacher ushers in retirement with summer fair


A headteacher ushered in his retirement by having fun in the sun with the pupils he admits he's sad to be leaving behind.

After 11 years at the helm of Carlisle's Caldew Lea School the Reverend Ian Johnston, 56, is completing his last week with pupils.

He's decided to call it a day after spending 33 years as a teacher and holding a number of roles in primary schools around north Cumbria.

Rev Johnston started out as a teacher in London, working in a school near the Olympic park, before moving back up to Carlisle in 1989 taking up a post at Petteril Bank School, Carlisle.

From there he moved on to Belle Vue School as deputy head before taking up the top job at Bowness-on-Solway Primary School and then becoming head at Brampton Primary School.

It was then in 2006 he moved to Caldew Lea, in Ashley Street.

"The best bit has to be the variety of children, that's what I'll miss, and seeing what they then go on to do when they leave," he told the News & Star.

"There's a number of ex-pupils that I've come across that I see are studying for their A-levels and going on to university. It makes you proud.

"I will really miss the children and all the people here. The staff and parents at this school I have enjoyed working with, it's a real family school."

His final week at school was celebrated by with their annual summer fair yesterday.

"It's been particularly successful with the weather this year and we're currently raising funds for the school," Rev Johnston added.

"A lot of it goes on school trips throughout the year so we can keep the costs down for parents."

Youngsters and their families could enjoy a range of activities including sponge throwing, face painting, a football penalty shootout, guessing how many balloons are in the car, a bric-a-brac sale and more.

Oliver Koza, 11, was on the sponge throwing. He said: "I just thought it would be fun. Everyone in year 6 looks forward to this day every year."

Rev Johnston doesn't officially finish his job until the end of August as he oversees renovation of the former's caretaker's house on the school into a group learning space which can be used by pupils, staff and parents.

Money raised from the fair is also being put towards that.

Comment on this article

Generate a new code
Comments not OK? Click here to let us know
Read this..