Lillian Croston, head of Westholme School Blackburn, received a lifetime achievement award at the Independent School Awards 2012.

The award recognises her dedication to the pursuit of excellence and the development of children’s potential throughout her working life.

Mrs Croston, who plans to retire next September, has been an inspirational leader at Westholme for 25 years, leading the school through a period of extensive growth.

Mrs Croston said she amazed and delighted to win, adding: “I have always worked with good colleagues who share the same vision for bringing out the best in our young people.”

The event was at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, with special guest Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE.