Head says a fond goodbye

A rewarding and successful career as a teacher, with 17 years spent as a headteacher, may never have happened for Julie Frazer if it had not been for her husband, Peter.

Retiring head Mrs Julie Frazer with her pupils at St Mary Magdalene's Primary School, Wellfield Drive, Burnley
Retiring head Mrs Julie Frazer with her pupils at St Mary Magdalene's Primary School, Wellfield Drive, Burnley

For it was him who suggested that she would be a great teacher while they were on holiday one summer.

It was not something Mrs Frazer had ever considered but she decided to give it a go and this week a 24 career comes to a close.

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“It was the last thing I expected to do but I decided to give it a go,” said Mrs Frazer who has spent the last seven years as headteacher at St Mary Magdalene’s RC Primary School in Burnley.

She juggled caring for her two children, Caroline and Daniel, in between studying for her degree full-time and her very first posting was as a temporary teacher at Christ the King RC Primary in Burnley. She then moved to Padiham’s St Leonard’s Primary for a number of years before moving to St Mary’s C of E Primary in Rawtenstall where she was promoted to deputy head and eventually became headteacher.

Mrs Frazer (56), spent 10 years there before moving to St Mary Magdalene’s in her home parish.

This year school celebrated a rating of outstanding across the board in an RE inspection and an Ofsted inspection which rated the school as good in all areas.

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Quite an achievement for someone who had never considered teaching as a career.

Mrs Frazer said: “Without a shadow of a doubt the best part of this job has been the children. They are just amazing and when times are tough I know I can go out amongst them and feel better instantly.

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“I have always taught my pupils to be confident learners and confident people. To me that is one of the most important lessons in life.”

While she was in agreement with the introduction of the national curriculum that all schools have to follow Mrs Frazer feels that tests set for children to see if they reach the national average can be damaging to them.

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“I would never tell an 11 year old child they had failed becaue they don’t measure up to the national average,” she said.

A special Mass was held to say farewell to Mrs Frazer followed by a tea party in school for her family, pupils, staff and governors.