THE head teacher of a primary school near Chard will retire this summer.

David Knight, 58, has been at the helm of Tatworth Primary School for more than 12 years but said he had always wanted to take early retirement.

He plans to train new head teachers on a part-time basis.

He told the News: “I have seen a lot of changes but it is time to step down.

“This is such a good school and the parents have been particularly fantastic because they have supported everything we have done over the years.

“Education is a partnership between home and school – I couldn’t have wished for better support.”

Mr Knight has been a teacher for 36 years, 23 of those as a head teacher.

One of the main changes at Tatworth Primary School has been in the last three years when it became a village academy.

He said: “It meant our budget comes from the Government, so we have a little bit more money and we have the freedom to do the things we are good at.”

Mr Knight said one of the highlights of his job is a trip to London with the children every two years – they visit the Houses of Parliament and watch a West End musical production.

He said the biggest shock was discovering two brothers in Tatworth had bequested a six-figure sum to the school for educational resources and school trips.

Mr Knight said the school prides itself on its involvement in the community. It is proud of a special link with Cricket St Thomas Hotel – it has performed its Christmas production to guests for ten years.

In the school’s last OFSTED inspection in June last year, it slipped into ‘requires improvement’ and Mr Knight said it was progressing well towards its next inspection due in the next school year.

Steve Clarke, head teacher at Stockland Academy near Honiton, will replace Mr Knight in September.

Mr Clarke has 14 years experience as a head teacher and was appointed to the role at Tatworth in February.

  •  The school is performing its annual musical production next month. Children will perform SMIKE in the Guildhall in Chard on Thursday, July 17, at 6.30pm and Saturday, July 19, at 2.30pm.

Tickets, priced £5, are on sale from school by calling 01460-220565.