A HEADTEACHER from Colne, who was awarded an MBE for her work in the community, has retired after four decades.

Barbara Booth will be missed by pupils, staff and parents at Shadsworth Infant School in Blackburn, following her departure on the last day of term on Friday.

Mrs Booth taught for 40 years, including at St Anne’s Primary in Accrington and Ightenhill, and was at the helm of Shadsworth for 20 years.

She was recognised with an MBE in 2000 for services to education and the local community.

She said: “There’s always been a lot of community work done at the school, it isn’t always fundraising.

“The school community is a wonderful and caring place.

“I will really miss the staff and the pupils. A lot of things have changed in education, it is constant change.

“What doesn’t change is the people. I have been fortunate to always work with wonderful people and it is why I have always loved the job.”

One parent, Wendy Schofield, who lives across from the Ayr Road school said: “My daughters are 18 and 19 now but they remember Mrs Booth.

“She was amazing, particularly to our family. Her husband had just passed away when we found out my father had cancer. She put aside her own problems and raised funds for cancer charities and gave us unending support.

“Every year she did some fundraising and is so well known in the community around here.”

On Mrs Booth’s last day the pupils staged a special concert and each class sang a song.

Mrs Booth said: “It was a very full week, lots of effort from everyone to wish me a happy retirement.

“The staff put on a buffet and former members of staff and people who have worked for the local authority over the years came and wished me all the best .It was amazing to see everyone.”