AFTER 37 years teaching at the same school a popular headteacher is to hand over the reigns and explore the South Pacific.
Mrs Maggie Aylott joined Dormers Wells High School, Southall, in 1977 as a 24-year-old probationary teacher after having trained in Geography and Archaeology at University.
She went on to teach Geography and English at the school, becoming headteacher in 2007. She now plans to explore the South Pacific Islands with her husband to kick off her retirement. A mother of three herself, Mrs Aylott is also looking forward to becoming a grandmother in September.
She said: "It has been very well timed with the surprise arrival of a grandchild. My husband and I actually hope to travel around the South Pacific so hopefully we will have time to do this as well. I have been very lucky to have worked in such a rewarding school. I haven't even thought about working anywhere else during my time here. I am passionate about this place and have loved every minute of working with the children, staff, parents and the wider community. The children here all want to do their best and so it has always been a pleasure to teach them.
"The most enjoyable part has always been teaching the children and this is something I will miss the most. Watching them learn and grow and go on to have successful careers or to raise families is incredibly rewarding. I have even had the honour of teaching the grandchild of a past pupil. To have taught three generations of the same family is really quite wonderful.
"I am also delighted that I have been able to bring back the sixth form as I think it is always so valuable for the pupils to have older students to look up to. We have had some fantastic ex pupils give back to the school with one particularly successful past student paying for a fantastic sculpture to be designed for the school."
Mrs Aylott was instrumental in the redesign and build of the new building, which was completed two years ago. Passionate about the school she wanted to ensure that it was designed with a focus on the needs of the pupils and the community.
She said: "I taught in the old school building for 35 years. I actually thought I might miss the place but since we have moved into this fantastic modern and bright new school building I haven't looked back. Working alongside the architects and designers of the new school was a fantastic opportunity."
Dormers Wells High School has had a good ofsted report under Mrs Aylott and also holds an Inclusion Mark, the Cultural Diversity
Diamond Award and Leading Edge status. It has specialist status for mathematics, computing and applied learning.
Governor of the school Janpal Singh Basran said: "Maggie has been a superb headteacher and a real asset to the school. There have been many successes under her leadership at the school but one of her biggest achievements has been her overseeing the redevelopment of the school which was a massive undertaking. Someone with less experience will not have managed so well. She will be greatly missed but life goes on and we look forward to welcoming new headteacher Ms Roisin Walsh in September."
Ms Roisin Walsh joins the school from Park High in Harrow where she has been the deputy headteacher.