Party for Carmel Bavington after 36 years at school

Carmel Bavington has retired from her full time role at Thomas Gainsborough School after 36 years. ANL-160806-113512001

Carmel Bavington has retired from her full time role at Thomas Gainsborough School after 36 years. ANL-160806-113512001

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With a passion for English, Carmel Bavington’s retirement did not last long at all.

After 36 years at Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard, former assistant headteacher Mrs Bavington has given up full-time education, but is still at the school she loves, once again focusing on English.

The 62-year-old officially retired on March 31, and was back again on April 11.

“I haven’t just been a teacher of English since 1977,” she said. “I’ve always taught English, it is my passion.”

For many, teaching in the village where you live would be a nightmare best avoided, but for Mrs Bavington it is a privilege she has been able to enjoy since 1980 when she took a temporary job at Great Cornard Upper School as maternity cover.

“I wouldn’t have stayed if I didn’t like it,” she said.

“It’s been fantastic. I have had so many different roles, I feel as if I have constantly reinvented myself.

“Each role has been exciting, challenging and fun actually. I am very hapy to go back and reinvent myself again.”

In her 36 years she has seen five headteachers, with education changing just as much as the school itself - the school moving to its new building in September last year.

“I don’t have a problem with change, I see it as an opportunity,” she said, explaining teaching was a tougher but better profession now.

One of her proudest achievements is bringing in an academic review system.

On the new school she said: “I love the new building, it feels like a gift.”

To celebrate her time at the school, on Friday, June 24 the school is holding a party.

Starting at 7pm, all staff, pupils and parents, past and present, are invited along.

“I agreed to it as I saw it as a way of past staff and pupils coming back again, a chance for a get together.”