A popular headteacher - who has worked in Calderdale for 37 years - is retiring from the school where he first started teaching.
Roger Bateman began his career at Holy Trinity Primary School’s junior school in 1975.
Since then he has worked at Withinfields School in Southowram, Christchurch School in Pellon, Northowram Primary School and had a 14-year stint at Burnley Road, Mytholmroyd, where he became a headteacher. He returned to Holy Trinity as headteacher in 2002.
Over the past ten years, he has presided over many highs and lows - most notably the devastating fire in 2003 which gutted the infant school.
He said: “I can remember it as if it was yesterday. It was an absolute disaster. The whole building was being destroyed.
“But then I realised we would have to rebuild it and that that was an opportunity. Out of something really dreadful, something really postive and exciting came - and the whole school has just progressed since then.”
Mr Bateman was influential in the design of the new building, which combined the previously separate junior and infant schools. It has since had an oustanding Ofsted report and won a clutch of awards - including being one of the first schools in the country to receive gifted and talented status.
He said teaching has given him so much joy over the years: “It’s been absolutely marvellous when a child grasps something for the first time and to see enthusiasm on their faces when they’re learning to read or learning something new. It’s their enthusiasm that keeps my enthusiasm going.”
Mr Bateman added: “I’m a good head but I’ve also had really outstanding colleagues - exceptional people who make huge contributions to the school’s success. It isn’t just down to one person.
“I shall be sorry to leave the wonderful colleagues and children.”