A YORK teacher is retiring after working with thousands of the city’s children and families over the past four decades.

Jane Woolgar, 65, has worked as a freelance arts consultant over the past 15 years, delivering music, dance and drama in several of York’s primary schools. She has also been the music teacher / coordinator at Knavesmire Primary School since 2005.

Her career in the education and care of young children spans 45 years, with 41 of those in York. During that time, she has taught in more than half of York’s primary schools.

“It has been wonderful - I have had so many opportunities,” she said.

After dedicating much of her life to working with children, she has decided to retire, with today (July 17) being her final day.

However, it will be a very different retirement to what she had hoped for. Jane, who lives in York city centre, has been shielding over the past few months and has not been able to go into school since March.

She said: “Normally my send off would have included a final assembly with parents, presents and cards, a retirement party, cake and 500 hugs.

“Obviously none of this has been possible this year. So, it is with immense sadness that I come to the end of my long and happy career.

“My heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped and supported me over the years, particularly the wonderful staff team at Knavesmire. I will miss them all and of course Knavesmire’s amazing children.”

Jane’s career has also included working as acting head of St Paul’s Nursery School in York, an arts consultant for City of York Council, and the head of York’s performing arts centres.

In addition, she started St Chad’s playgroup, managed and ran Priory St Toy Library, managed and drove the North Yorkshire Playbus and ran her own early years performing arts classes.

“I have worked with literally thousands of York’s children and families and hundreds of staff,” she said. “My aim has always been to inspire children with a love of music and the arts. If I have managed to achieve this, then my life’s work is done.”

Speaking about her plans for retirement, she added: “I obviously want to do things like travelling but it depends on how things go.

“Because I’m keen on performing arts, I dance and take part in shows. All that is off at the moment. Hopefully I can get back to that.”