A headteacher is set to retire next week after almost two decades at the helm of a Chorley village school.

Sue Teale, 57, is to step down from her role at Withnell Fold Primary School at the start of the Christmas holidays after 18 years as head.

The school is marking the event by inviting all past and present pupils and their families to a coffee morning on Saturday, December 12 to wish her a fond farewell.

Prior to her appointment, Sue, who lives in Cherry Tree, Blackburn, taught in the Ribble Valley at schools in Waddington and West Bradford, Bolton-by-Bowland and Grindleton.

She said leaving the school, which currently has 88 pupils, would be a huge wrench and one she had been anticipating since the summer.

“I was very emotional at the summer term knowing it would be my last here and I will readily admit I’m dreading walking through the gates for the final time.

“I’m going to miss every single one of the children and parents and the sounds and routines that go with the school.

“I felt it was time to retire though, especially when several of the pupils are the children of infants I taught when I first came to the school.”

Sue, who is married to Geoff and has two sons, said that among her proudest moments were the two ‘outstanding’ assessments given to Withnell Fold by school inspectors, the last one in 2008.

The school is hoping for a big turn out at Saturday’s event, which takes place between 11am-2pm.

As for the future, Sue is planning an epic voyage as she embarks on a round-the-world cruise early next year.

She said: “We’ve booked a 96 day cruise on board the liner Arcadia. It will be a chance to experience many different places and will a great way to start my retirement.

“I’m particularly looking forward to visiting Mumbai and New Zealand.”