DAYS when your whole body aches from a cold or a bug that leaves you going nowhere but back to bed have been rare for Helen Smith.

In fact they have been so rare the teacher has never had time off sick in 14 years and has achieved a 100 per cent attendance record.

The only days she has been unable to teach a class and taken time off from her gruelling job have been unavoidable absences.

These include attending her grandparents' funerals and being stuck in India during the 2010 volcanic ash cloud eruptions.

She was stuck in Goa for a week when aeroplanes were unable to fly in case the ash damaged their engines.

Miss Smith's impressive achievement has now come to light as she prepares to leave St Lawrence's Primary School, in Heslington Lane, her place of work since 2002.

The current Year 1 teacher is leaving for Lord Deramore’s Primary School, in Heslington, where she hopes her clean bill of health will continue.

"It's a massive achievement and I'm delighted," she said.

"I've been very healthy and I don't seem to catch things.

"I was brought up with good attendance at school and that has carried on.

"There's a lot of bugs and germs going around in a school but I don't have a secret about how I've avoided them."

Miss Smith says she exercises on occasion and eats healthily to stay fit.

During her time at the school, she set up a marathon club which gave children the chance to join her on training sessions as she prepared for the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon.

She completed the 26.2mile race and raised £1,000 for York Teaching Hospital.