A headteacher at a north Norfolk special needs school has said she’s created “so many happy memories” during her 40 years in education, after announcing her retirement from the profession.

Sarah Young has led Sidestrand Hall School for the past 21 years.

Mrs Young became the school’s headteacher in September 2002 after previously leading another special school in Nottingham for four years.

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North Norfolk News: Sarah YoungSarah Young (Image: Denise Bradley)

“I started teaching in 1983, so 40 years in teaching and 25 years as a headteacher,” Mrs Young said.

“I have absolutely loved this job and I am sorry to be retiring.

"No year has been the same and I have had great support from my staff, governors and families over the years.

“However, it is the students who make the school, and seeing them achieve is just amazing.

“I always said we don’t just take on the students but the whole family. I have so many happy memories.”

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North Norfolk News: Sarah Young with pupils at Sidestrand Hall SchoolSarah Young with pupils at Sidestrand Hall School (Image: Denise Bradley)

During her time at the Sidestrand school, Mrs Young secured funding from charities to replace an old aircraft hangar with a mechanics and construction workshop, and converted an old caretaker’s bungalow into a hair and beauty salon.

In February 2013, the school opened its own charity shop in Cromer called Strands.

It offered students the opportunity to gain experience in retail and practice life skills.

Profits from the shop have funded school facilities including a new food technology room, adventure playground and other opportunities and resources.

Mrs Young was also part of a project which secured funding for a purpose-built sixth-form centre. It took four years, but the school's successful bid saw it receive £1m of funding.