First class ceremony for best headteacher

This Is Wiltshire: Anne Bull celebrating with her pupils at Weston All Saints School in Bath Anne Bull celebrating with her pupils at Weston All Saints School in Bath

A FORMER Wiltshire headteacher has been named the Primary Headteacher of the Year in the 2012 Pearson Teaching Awards.

Anne Bull, who lives in Coate, near Devizes, but teaches at Weston All Saints Primary School in Bath, took the national title at a glitzy presentation evening in London on Sunday, compered by television presenter Clare Balding.

Mrs Bull has spent much of her long teaching career in Wiltshire, at Worton and Marston Primary, near Devizes – now part of Five Lanes School – and Aloeric Primary in Melksham.

She was also the head at St Thomas a Becket Primary in Tilshead and Westbury Leigh, before moving to Bath.

She said she was overwhelmed by the honour, after winning the regional title in July.

Mrs Bull said: “I love this job and I have been doing it for a very long time. I don’t think it is something anyone can do after only a short period.

“I give it my total and utter commitment and don’t get sidetracked by fashions in education. I have to be firm about that.

“I am still a Wiltshire woman. I travel every day to Bath. It’s not that bad. It only takes me 40 minutes, quite often less time than it took me to get to Westbury while I was teaching there.”

Although receiving the award on Sunday was a thrill, the enormity of what she had achieved did not hit until she arrived back in school on Tuesday morning.

She said: “It was very, very exciting. All the children had made cards, there was a banner and a red carpet. It was almost better than the glitzy evening in London.”

A report from the judges said: “Anne Bull has been described as an astonishingly talented, dedicated, energetic, hard-working, focused, supportive and inspirational headteacher, who provides outstanding leadership with a clear and compelling vision for success.”

Glyn Bridges was Mrs Bull’s deputy headteacher at Westbury Leigh in the 1980s and paid tribute to the dedication of his former colleague.

He said: “This award doesn’t surprise me in the least, because when she came to Westbury Leigh she was the youngest headteacher in the country.

“I have worked with nine heads and she was by far and away the best I have ever worked with.

“She was very caring of her children and her staff. There really couldn’t be anyone better to be a first-class headteacher.

“They were some of the happiest days of my life, working there with her.”

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