Head who founded Lessingham school retires

A head teacher who founded a school to help children with dyslexia is set to retire from her post but has vowed to carry on teaching.

Judith Gardiner, who founded All Saints, an independent day school in Lessingham, in 1987 has retired from the post of head teacher and handed over to Jane Headford.

But Mrs Gardiner, who first started the school to help children with dyslexia, a condition both she and her son have, will continue to teach part-time at the school and stay on as proprietor.

She said: 'Jane Headford will be taking over as head teacher, she has been working alongside me most of the last term. I am going back to teaching which has always been my first love.'

Mrs Gardiner's daughter, Rachel Smith, who was the very first pupil at the school and is a teacher there now, is also joining the management team as bursar.

The school has widened its scope since opening to include all children, not just those with dyslexia.

Mrs Gardiner, who was a teacher before setting up the school and has been teaching for more than 30 years, bought the school building, which had been running as a village school but had been closed down for two years, at an auction.

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She said: 'When it first opened there were nine pupils, then the next term, 30 pupils and it has grown ever since, now we have juniors and seniors from five-years-old up to 16.'

Mrs Gardiner, who has always lived in Norfolk and grew up in Catfield, said the best moments of being head teacher was helping those who had struggled, to achieve.