Retirement beckons for high school head

Picture taken for GCSE results story.  Trish Sheard, head of St Catherine's, Holmfield.
Picture taken for GCSE results story. Trish Sheard, head of St Catherine's, Holmfield.

PATRICIA Sheard, the head of St Catherine’s High School, Halifax, has announced she is to retire next month after 30 years’ teaching.

Mrs Sheard was deputy head of Rastrick High before taking over at the Catholic high four years ago.

“It has been an incredible journey which I wouldn’t have swapped for anything – I have learned so much,” she said.

Before she took over at St Catherine’s, the school was placed in special measures by Ofsted.

Since then it has steadily improved but is due to close next summer when the Leeds Diocese concentrates Roman Catholic secondary provision at Bradley, in Huddersfield.

“It was intended that St Catherine’s would become an academy and I always planned to leave when it converted.

“But the process stalled and I had to put off my retirement,” said Mrs Sheard.

It has now been decided that St Catherine’s will “merge” with the nearby Trinity Academy, at Holmfield, and Mrs Sheard’s departure next month will leave academy principal Michael Gosling in charge of both schools.

“We have been working together for quite a while and now the time is right for me to leave.

“The children and staff have been brilliant but I want to spend more time with my family and travel a bit more,” she said.

There are 666 pupils at St Catherine’s and about 400 are expected to transfer to Trinity Academy in September 2013.