Whitney Houston was topping the charts with “I Will Always Love You’’ and John Major was Prime Minister. The year was 1992 when Mr John Hughes arrived at Padiham Primary School as the new headteacher. 21 years later he is retiring and the legacy he leaves behind is a thriving school where pupils’ achievement level is 97%, seven per cent above the national average.
“I believe standards today are higher than they have ever been,’’ said Mr Hughes. “Children at key stages one and two are expected to learn things I was studying closer to A-Level, that is how far we have come.’’
Mr Hughes’s retirement marks the end of a career spanning 40 years, 25 of them as a headteacher. And he still manages to retain the enthusiasm and passion he had when he took up his first teaching post at the former Gawthorpe High School in 1973.
Mr Hughes taught at a number of other schools and his first headship was in Preston. He campaigned for Padiham Primary to be on one site and it may have taken him 17 years but he achieved it. He leaves behind a thriving school and says he will miss everyone.