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Headteacher retires after 32 years at Rosary School

Farewells for Isobel Gaffney at summer fair

06 July, 2018 — By Tom Foor

Pupils with the big raffle prize at Saturday’s summer fair

A HEADTEACHER was saying her goodbyes to pupils and parents at a summer fair on Saturday after announcing she is to retire from a Belsize Park primary school after 32 years.

Isobel Gaffney admitted that “it hasn’t quite hit home” that she will be leaving Rosary School, in Haverstock Hill, at the end of term.

“It feels like business as usual, because I’ve still got lots of energy and ideas,” she said. “I don’t feel like I’m going to settle down into retire­ment. I fancy starting my own business.”

She added: “I worked my way through 17 secretaries of state for education and they are always putting forward different agendas. “I’ve found the best thing is just to apply common sense. The profession has an incredible amount of scrutiny now.”

Yesterday (Wednes­day), almost the entire school turned out for a farewell “leaving mass” at St Dominic’s Priory, in Southampton Road.

Originally from Liverpool, Ms Gaffney arrived at the school in 1980 and became headteacher in 1986 “while still in my 20s”.

Charlotte Flynn, Jessica Morahan and Demi Killingback enjoy the summer fair and, below, retiring head Isobel Gaffney is handed flowers

She cited school musicals as among her best memories, adding: “When I took over as head there were two separate schools. We’ve rebuilt the nursery and completely refurbished the school’s playgrounds. And now we’re fundraising for the upper playground.”

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