HEADTEACHER of Godmanchester Primary School Phillip Ellington retires this week after more than a decade at the reigns.

Mr Ellington, 59, joined the school in 2000 and has been teaching for more than 30 years – including a spell as deputy head in Hartford and head at Thongsley.

Born in Bury, Mr Ellington went to school in Ramsey, before heading off to university in Coventry and Warwick.

He started teaching in Nottingham but moved back to Huntingdonshire 20 years ago, to marry Linda – who he “re-met” at a Ramsey school reunion.

He said of his three decades in teaching: “The pleasure of children hasn't changed, that's always been the same. Education is continuous change and there have been lots of things that have made teaching better. One is that schools have greater control of their own destiny.

“I am really proud of this school. It's a fantastic place with a fantastic team. The children, when they move on to Hinchingbrooke or other schools, are really proud of what they have achieved here.”

Mr Ellington, who lives in Pidley, said he has “one or two silly hobbies” that will keep him busy in his retirement – as well as a list of jobs from his wife!

He said: “I want to say thank you to everybody – the children and parents, who have been superb and really supportive of the school. Godmanchester is still one of those schools that has its heart in the community.”

Mr Ellington has led the school through three successful Ofsted inspections, with the school graded as outstanding in the last, as well as the recent change to academy status.

He played a leading role in the setting up of the Huntsnet partnership, which involves local schools working together on a number of projects to improve educational standards and he has mentored many new headteachers.

In a message on the school website, the school governors, staff and children said: “He has many other talents which have benefited our school. His office is equipped to deal with any emergency and has a tool box of different sized screw drivers useful for fixing anything from door handles to spectacles.

“The children adore his sense of humour and fun and they all know that one add one equals windows!

“We will all miss his humour, understanding and inexhaustible patience.”