Otterton head says fond goodbye to pupils and staff

Pat Fowler retires as head of Otterton Primary after nearly 14 years

HEAD teacher at Otterton Primary School, Pat Fowler, says goodbye to her pupils tomorrow (Friday) as she takes early retirement.

Since she joined the school in 1998, Pat has seen it grow from 56 pupils and two classes to 87 children in four classes with five teachers, including herself.

“We have no room physically to expand anymore though within the school we will have spaces available in September as Class Six leaves for secondary school.”

With parental preferences, the catchment area for the school has widened from Pinn and Bicton to Budleigh Salterton, Woodbury and Exmouth.

Moving from a larger primary school in Leicestershire, Pat said: “It was a very big change to come here, but it was a challenge, a little scary but everybody was just so welcoming.

“It is such a lovely village to work in and I’ve had the most amazing set of parents every year. They are very supportive of the school because they want it to succeed.”

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Pat, from Payhembury, says the Christian ethos the school works to is most important.

It works in harmony with St Michael’s Church, alongside the school, which is used for performances and weekly assemblies.

Pat went into teaching in 1976 because she wanted to work with children.

“It is such a privilege working with children and see them grow and develop into young adults,” she said.

“They can be challenging and yes, they are hard work, but it is fun. I will miss the children and the relationship with staff, children and families here.

“I have worked with a wonderful staff who are caring, dedicated and professional.”

Otterton Primary will link forces with Drake’s Primary, East Budleigh, with Carron Saunders as executive head for both.

Also leaving Otterton this week are teacher Lucy Archer, who is off travelling the world with boyfriend Simon Alcock, and the school’s administrator, Cilla Franks, who is also taking early retirement to see more of her daughter and grandchildren in Essex.