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Osbaldwick Primary Academy headteacher set to retire

A York headteacher who has spent her career dedicated to educating children is to retire.

Miss Lesley Barringer, headteacher at Osbaldwick Primary Academy, will step down at the end of the summer term. She has been at the school for 17 years and says her retirement has been long planned, but not before she was sure she could leave the school with confidence it would continue to go from strength to strength.

“It has been a difficult decision to make – the important ones are never easy – but we have a built up the staff and now have a great team and our data shows we are a good school. Academising and joining Ebor earlier this year is also creating greater opportunities for our children.”

Doncaster-born Miss Barringer always wanted to live in York and after leaving college in Lincoln and working in schools in Peterborough and Derbyshire, she moved to the city in 2001.

Her main subjects are history and geography and before the days of the National Curriculum she worked alongside the Institute of Education to help design the geography curriculum.

Miss Barringer has always enjoyed the challenge of creating sustainable improvement in challenging schools. For three years, from 2008, she added school improvement responsibilities to her role in York, with the additional income being a welcome contribution to the Osbaldwick school budget.

She achieved Local Leader in Education accreditation and has worked as a consultant across the country.

In 2013 Miss Barringer was asked by City of York Council to become executive headteacher and take over Derwent schools, bringing them into Osbaldwick Primary.

She says she has devoted her life to children: “and I have 300 of them – I just send them home at the end of every day!”

In retirement Miss Barringer is looking forward to travel in the UK, having more time for family and friends, some consultancy work, possibly for Ebor – and getting a dog, or maybe two. She already sponsors a donkey for children with special educational needs.

Becki Dean, chair of governors at Osbaldwick Primary Academy, said: “It has been a privilege to work alongside Lesley. She is incredibly hard working, compassionate and caring of both her staff and her pupils. In all the changes in school, and in education, Lesley has always remained focused on what is best for the learning of the individual children in her care. She will be greatly missed and we wish her every happiness in the future.”

Governors will work closely with Ebor Academy Trust to recruit a new headteacher and the process will begin in January. Ebor now runs 22 schools across York, Selby, the East Riding and The Humber and on the Yorkshire Coast.