THE HEADTEACHER at Hayshead Primary School in Arbroath retired on Thursday after more than 30 years in the profession.
Arthur Pritchard (59) took up his first teaching position in 1978 at Maisondieu Primary in Brechin and stayed there for four years before moving to Hayshead.
At Hayshead he rose to depute head, before taking the top job at Inverkeilor Primary in 1989.
Two years later, the headteacher’s role at Hayshead became available and
Mr Pritchard felt he couldn’t turn down a move back to the school he had grown to love.
He said: “The only regret I have in my whole career is that I wish I could have spent longer at Inverkeilor because two years really isn’t enough.
“I got into teaching because I wanted to work with people and when I came to Hayshead I found I just loved the school, the staff and the children.”
“I have two families – one at home and another here at the school.”
Mr Pritchard was instrumental in setting up the St Murdoch’s Club, which grew from providing after-school football to offering a range of activities for children.
He was also one of the major driving forces behind setting up the Hayshead community wing which offers a range of facilities for local residents.
He was also instrumental in the development of many aspects of the local community including setting up the park Abbotsford Road for the youth of the community.
In 2009, the 454-pupil school received a glowing assessment from inspectors and was rated as being very good in six of the eight evaluation areas. The inspectorate commented that the headteacher provided high quality leadership for learning.
As a result of strong, effective leadership and the high level of commitment of all staff, the school is well placed to improve further.
During his time at Hayshead he has shown exceptional dedication not only to the pupils but also to parents and staff alike. Due to his length of service at Hayshead he had a real understanding of the needs of his pupils and their families.
He always tried to ensure that the school and the children achieved all that is possible in all areas of life.
On his last day a comment from children in P4 reflected the ethos of the school: “With Mr. Pritchard as headteacher we loved to learn but also have learned to love.”
This has not been just a job for him, it has been a major part of his life, which he has meant so much to him. He will be missed greatly by all members of the school community.
Two assemblies were held in the school hall on Thursday to mark his retirement with pupils putting on a specially created performance to which parents were invited.