Head who turned round struggling school retires

A much-loved and popular village headteacher who turned the fortunes of a school once put into special measures has retired.

Sabden Primary School headteacher Lisa Titchiner retires after six years at the school. Photo: David Hurst
Sabden Primary School headteacher Lisa Titchiner retires after six years at the school. Photo: David Hurst

Mrs Lisa Titchiner (61) said farewell to Sabden Primary School on Wednesday – bringing to a close a 40-year career in teaching – six of which was spent at the rural Ribble Valley school as headteacher.

When Mrs Titchiner joined the school in 2008, Ofsted had placed the school in special measures. However, four years later, thanks to the hard work and determination of the staff, pupils, parents, governors and the local community, Ofsted rated it good.

“The school had previously been deemed unsatisfactory and that gave everybody the opportunity to work as a team and put an enormous amount of team effort to turn the school around,” she said. “It was a steep journey, but we made it and the school has since gone from strength to strength.”

Speaking about her time at Sabden Primary, the mother-of-one said: “I have enjoyed every minute of being at this school. I just love the village atmosphere. Because Sabden is a small village, we have close links with parents and the community itself, the parish council, Sabden Horticultural Society, the church and the bowling club. All these people and organisations have been an integral part of our school. Our pupils have also been involved in clearing up litter from the area and campaigns to stop dog fouling – we really are the heart of the community.”

Mrs Titchiner, who lives in Barrowford and is also a magistrate, has previously worked in schools across Nelson, Burnley and Colne. She plans to continue working as an associate headship if she is needed during her retirement. She is also looking forward to making crafts and cards, helping out at St Thomas Church, Barrowford, and spending more time with her husband, Tony, her son Matthew (22) and Tony’s daughter and her two children.”

Last week her staff and colleagues organised a surprise farewell party at Mitton Hall, near Whalley. She added: “I will miss everyone here, especially the daily interaction with staff, pupils and the community.”

The new headteacher, Lisa Stinchon, is due to start in September.