Teacher and assistant say goodbye to pupils and staff after 40 years service

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Two much loved members of staff at Stanley St Peter’s CE Primary School are retiring after more than 40 years of service between them.

Gail Jackson, a higher level teaching assistant (HLTA), and teacher Steve Peace will say their goodbyes to children and fellow colleagues when the school breaks up.

Ms Jackson started at the school as a volunteer when her two sons were pupils. She went on to work as a special needs assistant before becoming one of the first HLTAs in the UK.

She said: “I feel privileged to have worked with so many children at St Peter’s. I will miss them all but now it is my turn to play out. I want to wish the children and their families all the best for the future and thank them for the support they have given me over the years.”

Mr Peace has been a teacher at the Lake Lock Road school for 24 years and has many fond memories, including conducting pupils at the Royal Albert Hall School Proms, playing the organ in the old St Peter’s Church at harvest, taking a school pop group called the Jellybeans to audition for Britain’s Got Talent and entertaining the children with April Fools’ Day antics. He is now looking forward to spending more time working at the disability sports club he runs.

Mr Peace said: “The staff at St Peter’s have always been friendly and supportive - this is a special quality that St Peter’s has above other schools. For me, being a teacher has always been about the association with the children. I have had the pleasure of working with children that have been talented, inspiring and rewarding.”

Headteacher Dr Sarah Trussler said: “The school has been so fortunate in having such long-standing and dedicated members of staff. I know they will both be missed and fondly remembered.”