A SCHOOL secretary has waved goodbye to staff and pupils after more than two decades behind her desk.

Irene Shanks, of St Aelred’s School, in Fifth Avenue, has walked out of the gates for the last time following a 25 year spell at the Tang Hall school.

Pupils held a tea party to mark the occasion and a special presentation took place during assembly to give everyone the chance to show their appreciation for Mrs Shanks' contribution over a quarter of a century.

Trish Thompson, chairman of Friends of St Aelred's School (FOSAS), said: "She is a lovely and special lady.

"She was always willing to help."

Mrs Shanks is the deputy group leader of the Hosanna House and Children's Pilgrimage Trust (HCPT) which organises trip to Lourdes, in France, for disabled and disadvantaged children.

She spent her time away from work organising trip and fundraising for them.

Claire Shanks, Mrs Shanks' daughter, added: "She was given a big presentation from the school and we threw her a surprise party.

"She wants to do more volunteering work in her retirement and more work in the local community."