Headteacher Jane Reed looks back on 39-year career as she retires from Colneis and Fairfield

Jane Reed with pupils at Fairfield Infant School on her last day as she retired after 39 years in ed

Jane Reed with pupils at Fairfield Infant School on her last day as she retired after 39 years in education. Picture: FAIRFIELD INFANT SCHOOL - Credit: Archant

Pupils at two schools bid farewell to their joint headteacher at the end of term as she retired after a 39-year career in education.

Jane Reed, who has been head of Fairfield Infant and Colneis Junior since 2008, began her teaching career at the age of 21 as a teacher at Springfield Infants in Ipswich.

She recalled her interview with the school’s chairman of governors: “He was a local milkman and popped into school after his milk round and gave me a bottle of milk!”

Mrs Reed, who has three children and two step-children, taught until her first daughter was born and then had a career break until 1991 when she secured a job at Fairfield just as her youngest child started school, also at Fairfield. She was in charge of literacy and the library.

Promotions took her to jobs on the Gainsborough Estate in Ipswich and back to Springfield as deputy head and then to Copdock, where there had been just 60 children in three classes, as headteacher.

She returned to Felixstowe in 2004 as headteacher at Fairfield Infants.

Mrs Reed said: “Looking back, there is nothing I would change.

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“I have been very fortunate to have worked with exceptionally talented teachers and support staff and wonderful children who have made me laugh every day of my career.

“I have loved being involved in every step of the children’s education. My motto has always been ‘whatever it takes for every child in my care’ and my driving force has always been to ensure that all the children I have had the pleasure of working with have had the very best opportunities to learn and progress.

“I tearfully watched the nursery graduation last week, feeling sad that I would not see the journey of these little ones through primary school.

“I laughed and laughed at the antics of year six who, for their leavers assembly, had divided into groups, written their own scripts and performed hysterically funny sketches entirely on their own. Reflecting on their enthusiasm, creativity and confidence as well as their very good SAT results I could see we have done our job very well.”

Although she will miss seeing the nursery children make their first steps into school, she is looking forward to being involved in the education of her two grandsons, who start school in September, and granddaughter, who will be moving into year three.

She intends to start playing piano again, to do voluntary work, including working at church, and possibly some consultancy work.