PUPILS and staff waved a fond farewell to two long-serving members of staff as they retired from a primary school.

Karen Pickering, a teaching assistant and Tony Watson, site manager, had given a combined service of 67 years to Jericho Primary School in Whitehaven.

Mrs Pickering had worked at the school for 27 years, nurturing pupils in nursery and reception.

Headteacher James Blackwell said: “Many pupils at Jericho will have experienced Karen’s dedication, passion and nurturing skills. 

Her teaching assistant role for many years was based in our Reception Class.  More recently we utilised Karen’s fantastic skill set in helping us start our wonderful Nursery. 

“Karen will be sorely missed but we wish her all the very best in her retirement.”

Mr Watson had worked at Jericho for 40 years, joining the school when he was 25. He has seen 40 cohorts of children pass through the gates of Jericho.

Mr Blackwell said: “Tony’s dedication to Jericho and to his role is second to none. Tony retiring is a huge loss to Jericho. Tony’s warm welcome at the gates each morning will be missed by all and we wish him all the very best for his retirement.”

Mr Watson received a letter in recognition of his service from Dan Barton, assistant director in SEND, education and inclusion at Cumberland Council.

In the letter, Mr Barton thanked him for his contribution to the life and success of Jericho Primary School.

Both Mr Watson and Mrs Pickering retired at the end of the term.