THE headteacher of Tockholes’s only primary school is to retire after 12 years at the helm.

Barbara Cocken will leave St Stephen’s CE Primary School, formerly Tockholes Primary, in July.

And local councillor Jean Rigby said Mrs Cocken would be ‘sadly missed’.

Mrs Cocken, 60, said: “I have been at St Stephen’s for 12 years and have loved every minute. I have never woken up and not wanted to go to work. I will really miss it.”

St Stephen’s was Mrs Cocken’s third primary school role after she was deputy headteacher at St Paul’s CE Primary in Hoddlesden for 18 months and a teacher at Green Haworth CE Primary, Accrington, for a decade.

Previously, she worked in secondary schools at Bowland High School, Grindleton, and Moorhead High, Accrington.

Mrs Cocken said she had seen a lot of changes in her career.

She said: “There is less bureaucracy now. We get to spend more time with the children than ever. I like it here as at bigger schools, headteachers don’t get to spend as much time with the kids.

“I never wanted to lose teaching, like others in the profession do.

“It is brilliant here. We only have 50 children in the school so we know them all so well and their families.”

Mrs Cocken, of Accrington, is married to Alan and has three children – Sam, Matthew and Bethany – and a two-year-old grandson.

She said she plans to travel more and spend more time with her grandson following her retirement.

Coun Rigby said: “I’ve heard really good reports about Mrs Cocken. She will be a sad loss.

“I’d like to thank her for all her hard work over the past few years.

“I hope she enjoys her retirement, it is extremely well deserved.”

A replacement for Mrs Cocken is currently being recruited.