Burnley headteacher to retire

Headteacher at Sir John Thursby Community College Elaine Dawson who is taking early retirement to travel the world.'Photo Ben Parsons
Headteacher at Sir John Thursby Community College Elaine Dawson who is taking early retirement to travel the world.'Photo Ben Parsons

A DEDICATED headteacher who has cemented success at a £33m. Burnley superschool is to retire.

Mrs Elaine Dawson, who came to Burnley in 2004, led Sir John Thursby Community College through a transformation under the £250m. Building Schools for the Future Programme.

She has helped established the Eastern Avenue school as one of the top 10 in the county for “value added” performance and a recent Ofsted report hailed it “good with many outstanding features.”

But the popular 55-year-old Yorkshirewoman is to step down at Christmas to follow her dream of travelling around the world with husband Cameron.

She said it would be an emotional goodbye but she is confident the school will go on to see even greater success.

She said: “It is a wonderful school. Everyone works together as a team. I think some people under-estimated this school but we were never in any doubt we would be the best school in Burnley.

“In five years we have gone from being two schools which had poor facilities and not the best reputation, to a school Ofsted said was good with outstanding features.

“It has been a massive journey. The school can only get better.”

But the mother-of-one will leave the hustle and bustle of school life for a more languid lifestyle travelling beginning with a five-week trip to New Zealand.

She said: “I am sad to be leaving. I will miss the students and I will miss the staff.

“I have loved my job. Retirement is not because I have had enough or I’m tired out or because I don’t want to do it any more. I have got a chance to make another life for myself.

“It is an absolute privilege to be able to end my career having established what we have done here. It is not just me it is the staff

See Tuesday’s Express for a full interview with Elaine Dawson.