The End of an Era

Yesterday truly marked the end of an era for our ward and particularly for the community of Park Farm.

Karen Hepworth-Lavery, our head teacher at Heritage Park Primary School, retired today after devoting more than 20 years to the education of local children.

I know I speak for many parents of children both past and present when I say there is so much love, affection and gratitude for Karen’s selfless efforts in ensuring that each and every one of our children received the very best education and opportunities possible to aspire at Heritage Park.

I have been the LA governor for 10 years at Heritage Park and throughout my time working as part of the governing body I have felt nothing but admiration for the consistent professional attitude, support and friendly attitude Karen has shown me and others.

There have been many challenges in the 20 years since Heritage Park first opened, not least the dreaded Ofsted inspections, and I know Karen and her team have tackled them head on. The result, and quite rightly, is a school that consistently maintains its quality awards and is rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

I have always shouted proudly that Heritage Park Primary has consistently been the best school in Peterborough and that is testament to how well Karen and her team has performed year on year.

When Karen announced her intention to retire I think we all nearly fainted but as I and my fellow governors looked more into how we would seek her successor, it became very clear that because of her management style and success at building a supportive and professional team, that we didn’t need to panic whilst we complete this process because the school is being left in very capable hands.

Karen will be a hard act to follow but I’m very confident we have a great interim solution in Karen Bell with the team stepping up to the mark whilst we carry out the recruitment process. Please kindly offer her every help and support.

In my role as ward councillor, I have engaged with the Peterborough City Council Civic Awards Team to seek consideration for a Civic Award for Service to Education in Peterborough for Karen. I’m confident they will agree that she richly deserves such an acknowledgement from the city for her selfless efforts for the children of our city.

I wish Karen the very best of health and happiness for the future, hope she now takes a well-earned rest and, that she thoroughly enjoys her retirement.