Burnley headteacher steps out of retirement

Thomas Whitham's Dave Perry, Dave Warren, Dave Sheridan, Elaine Dawson and Dionne Holdsworth.

Thomas Whitham's Dave Perry, Dave Warren, Dave Sheridan, Elaine Dawson and Dionne Holdsworth.

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School is not out just yet for a former headteacher who has come out of retirement to help at Burnley’s Thomas Whitham Sixth Form.

Mrs Elaine Dawson, who retired from the headship at Sir John Thursby Community College at Christmas, 2011, is the new consultant headteacher at the sixth form in Barden Lane where she will work with new acting headteacher David Sheridan.

The appointments, which also include assistant headteachers David Perry and David Warren, were made because governors felt it was too late to appoint a permanent replacement to Mr Smith for this school year.

Mrs Dawson won huge respect among Burnley’s school community for her work in transforming Sir John Thursby, created under the £250m. Building Schools for the Future scheme, into one of the top 10 schools in the county for “value added” performance. Ofsted inspectors hailed it “good with many outstanding features”.

Mrs Dawson, who has been travelling the world following her retirement, said: “I will be here two days a week and am looking forward to being part of Burnley’s school community again.

“I will be part of a very experienced team hoping to build on the success Stuart Smith created here.

“David Perry and David Warren have a combined 61 years of experience at Sir John Thursby and Unity College. Dionne Holdsworth, a member of the successful Burnley Campus Social Enterprise, will also be part of the team.”