THE headteacher of Alston Moor Federation has decided to retire at the end of this school year.

Ian Johnson arrived at Samuel King’s School in April 2012, and after seven years at the federation, Mr Johnson has decided to take his retirement – and he’s very honest about the reasons behind his decision.

“Old age,” he said. “I’ve been 37 years in teaching, with 21 of those as a headteacher, so I think I’ve done my bit.

“I’m going to be sad to go, of course. I’ve been here seven years. I came here from Kent and relocated my family.

“I’ll miss the people – the students and the staff, and seeing the children grow up.

“I see them from two until they’re 16, but I’ll still be part of the community and I’ll still see people.”

At the time of Mr Johnson’s arrival, at the then Samuel Kings School, the school had a £100,000 deficit, a formal notice from Ofsted demanding improvements and pupil numbers were falling as families sent children elsewhere – no small feat given Alston’s remote location.

But the school was turned around under Mr Johnson, and in October 2017 staff and pupils from Alston Primary School moved under the same roof, creating a new home for Alston Moor Federation.

Mr Johnson added: “It’s been a time of significant change for Alston Moor, but it’s been a privilege to be a part of that.

“The secondary school is secure and doing well, and that’s good for the community.”

And Mr Johnson, who has no plans to leave the area, says he won’t be having a quiet retirement.

He continued: “I won’t be leaving the area.

“We wanted to live somewhere more rural and my wife wanted to be somewhere with hills and trees, which is why we moved here.”

He continued: “My wife is a full time artist so she’ll no doubt get me involved in that, and we’re going to be grandparents for the first time in May.

“This is our home, and I won’t be leaving until they carry me out in a box.”