Under her leadership, the academy has expanded in numbers, maintained its Good Ofsted rating following four successful inspections.

The headteacher of Upwood Primary Academy is stepping down after 17 years in post at the school.

Sharon Whitelaw joined the academy as headteacher in 2003 and under her leadership, the school has expanded in numbers, maintained its Good Ofsted rating following four successful inspections, and has achieved the Quality Mark for high standards in English and Maths.

A number of parents at the school collected more than £600 in donations towards a gift for Sharon and with these funds, they surprised her with an iPad, flowers and messages.

Sharon said: “It has been a great honour and privilege to serve as headteacher of Upwood Primary Academy for the last 17 years and I will look back on my time at the school with a real sense of pride in what we have achieved.

“With the support of my colleagues and all at Thomas Deacon Education Trust, I am proud to say that every child at our academy receives a well-rounded and high-quality education.

“I will miss the caring and family ethos of our academy and working with our amazing children, parents, staff, governors, Trust and the local community every day.”

Amy Warboys will take on the role of head from September.

Speaking of Amy’s appointment, Sharon continued: “I am really excited for the future of Upwood and know that Amy will be a fantastic head.

“She brings with her a wealth of experience within education and her expertise and knowledge will maintain high standards and continue to support staff and pupils at the academy. Together, we have already begun thinking about how the academy’s logo could be adapted in a small way to reflect this new era in its history, and she will be working closely with the community on this from September.”

Julie Taylor, chief executive officer of TDET, said: “It is with much sadness that we say goodbye to Sharon Whitelaw who has been an integral part of the school for so many years. Sharon has brought so much knowledge and experience to our Trust and will be missed greatly by all in her local community and at TDET.

“I would like to wish her all the best in the future and look forward to working with Amy in her new role from September.”