A DARWEN primary school headteacher is to retire after four decades in education.

Alison Howarth, head at St Barnabas Primary School, has decided to call time on her career after seven years at the Knowlesley Road school. And Mrs Howarth, 60, who will see out the remainder of the school year before leaving her post, said she was delighted to be ending her career at the school.

Mrs Howarth, who lives in Bolton, said: “The happiest days of my career have been here. This is my second headship but St Barnabas’ is the place where I have been the happiest. But now it is time for me to retire and hand over the school into the safe-keeping of the next headteacher.”

Mrs Howarth spent the majority of her teaching career in her home town, with stints at Blackshaw Primary and Sharples Primary, before becoming deputy headteacher at Gaskill Primary. She was later head at Haslem Park Primary School before moving on to St Barnabas’.

The mother-of-two, who has three grandchildren and is married to John, said she could not choose a proudest moment from her 40-year career.

She said: “I am proud of every moment I have spent with the children. They continually amaze and astound me with the things they do. If I could change one thing about the education system, though, it would be to prevent the Government from constantly changing things.

“You just about get used to one way of working and then they go and change it.”

Mrs Howarth added: “This is an exciting opportunity for the succesful candidate to put their stamp on the school and lead it onwards into its next stage of development on its journey to excellence.

Mrs Howarth plans to help out with the family business. Her husband owns Howarth’s Funeral Services in Bolton and she is a qualified funeral director.