Pauline says farewell to the classroom - at the age of 81

A non-teaching assistant has retired after nearly 50 years supporting school pupils in the Spen Valley.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 7:00 pm
Pauline Bustard

Pauline Bustard started work at Battye Street Infant and Nursery School.

But it has been at Cawley Lane Junior, Infant and Nursery School (more recently renamed Heckmondwike Primary School) where she has worked for the majority of her 48-year career.

Now aged 81, she has decided it’s time to call it day.

Her husband, Peter, suffered a stroke just before Christmas and it became apparent on his return home in March that she would be needed full-time to look after him.

“It’s with great sadness, and more than a few tears, that I have had to retire from school,” she said.

“It’s a wrench as I have spent all my working life more or less working within education amongst our young children, with many wonderful memories of school.

“It’s a job I have always loved. I always said I had two families – my family at home and my family at school.

“But it’s my family at home who need me now.”

Dubbed by many as “the Queen of Heckmondwike Primary School” for her sterling efforts and long-standing service within the school, for 21 years Pauline was involved in organising Heckmondwike’s annual “Summer Play Scheme”, providing activities and outings for 200 children during the school summer holidays.

“I wouldn’t have changed any of it for the world, but I think it’s fair to say I’ve put in a shift and now it’s time to step back and make the most of retirement,” she said.