A MUCH-LOVED headteacher is stepping down from a village primary school after more than 16 years in the post.

Becky White has taught at schools in York and North Yorkshire throughout her 38-year career and ended it at the helm of Bishopthorpe Infants.

Mrs White, 59, who originally comes from Market Weighton in East Yorkshire, came to York to do her teacher training at York St John.

She went on to teach at Scarcroft and Knavesmire primaries in York before taking a post as the deputy head at Appleton Roebuck, where she taught for eight years before moving to Bishopthorpe.

She said: “I am going to miss the children, primarily, but also the excellent staff team that we have got working here and the support from parents, who are just superb.

‘‘They are one of the strengths of the school, I have got to say.

“I really appreciate the support of staff and parents, because it’s been consistently positive for all the time I have been at Bishopthorpe.”

The school, which has about 180 pupils, held a variety of events to mark Mrs White’s retirement, including a special night for staff, parents and former staff and parents, with local band Whyte Fyre providing the entertainment.

Then yesterday, there was a special assembly for Mrs White on her last day with the children.

Deputy headmaster Andy Burt said: “As headteacher of Bishopthorpe Infants, Becky has got to know many children and their families and has been widely praised for the nurturing start that the school provides.

‘‘She has led the school through a time of great change, with pupil numbers increasing greatly during recent years. The staff, children, parents and governors will miss Becky’s support and dedication and wish her a long, well-deserved and very happy retirement.”

Mrs White said the process of appointing her replacement is on-going and from January Susan Bell, the head at Carr Infants, will act as executive headteacher assisted by Mr Burt.

She said she plans to spend her retirement having some “me time”, “something I haven’t had for 38 years”.