A TEACHER who has taught hundreds of Burnley schoolchildren has announced she is retiring.

Margot Hammond is due to retire at the end of term after 39 years at St Joseph's Park Hill School as a teacher and seven years as a pupil.

She started at the Padiham Road school when she was four years old, when the school was known as the Burnley Convent School.

She then left aged 11 and went onto Park Hill Convent School followed by Trinity and All Saints College in Leeds, before returning to the school as a teacher in 1975.

Miss Hammond said: “My best experience has always been with the children and seeing them progress and being involved with what they’re doing.”

She added that she remembered the opening of the school and enjoyed its jubilee celebration in 2007.

“Education has changed greatly; when I first started teaching it was all very traditional. The children were sitting at wooden desks with their chalkboards.”

“Now of course there are computers and the curriculums changed a lot.”

She added that after she retired she planned to spend more time at the gym as well as reading and walking. She also planned to spend some time with her two sisters and her nieces and nephews.

Mrs Annette Robinson, headteacher of the school, said:”We’re a Catholic school and she’s been instrumental in maintaining the Catholic ethos. She’s guided many children through their sacramental journey. She’s now teaching children of children she's taught.

“Everyone who comes back recognises her and she knows everybody. She remembers faces from years ago.” Mrs Robinson said that they would be celebrating her retirement with a mass on Thursday, which would be attended by the Sisters of Mercy who wanted to thank her for her dedicated service.

“She’ll be greatly missed by staff, parents, and pupils, past and present,” she added.