Much-loved school governor gets rousing send off as she stands down after 10 years

Maureen Smith (centre) cuts her farewell cake at Rossmere Primary School, surrounded by colleagues and friends.
Maureen Smith (centre) cuts her farewell cake at Rossmere Primary School, surrounded by colleagues and friends.

Pupils and staff at a Hartlepool primary school gave a rousing send off to a popular school governor.

Maureen Smith, chair of governors at Rossmere Primary School, stood down at the end of the summer term after 10 years in the role.

Pupils (from left to right) with Maureen Smith are Ewan Purdy, Lilly Brackstone, James Fox and Isabelle Orton.

Pupils (from left to right) with Maureen Smith are Ewan Purdy, Lilly Brackstone, James Fox and Isabelle Orton.

The school held a special assembly to say goodbye with pupils from each year group paying tribute with songs, poems, banners, cards and pictures.

This was followed by a surprise afternoon tea in the school attended by staff, governors and friends.

A former magistrate, Maureen also played a key role nationally to promote good governance in schools as a member of the National Governance Association Committee.

Speaking at her farewell, Maureen said: “I became involved at Rossmere Primary School when my grandchildren attended and I was a governor for two years before being appointed chair.

Fellow governor Carol McCletchie OBE (left) speaks at the afternoon tea event. Maureen Smith is pictured (right).

Fellow governor Carol McCletchie OBE (left) speaks at the afternoon tea event. Maureen Smith is pictured (right).

“I must say it has been an absolute privilege to be associated with the school. The children here are very friendly, hard-working and with a will to learn.

“My focus has always been on getting the very best for the children at the school and I hope during my time here I have played a small part in achieving this.

“I’d also like to thank fellow governors and others because without their support I couldn’t have done the job.”

Lynne Pawley, who stood down as headteacher at the school last month to spend more time with her family, said: “Maureen played a huge part in the school’s success as it went from a “satisfactory” Ofsted rating to “good” during her time as chair of governors.

“Maureen has been totally committed in her role as chair and her support to all of the staff has been second to none. The staff and children will miss her.”

Speaking at the afternnon tea, fellow governor Carol McCletchie OBE, said: “You put so much time into making the school a better place for both children who learn here and the staff who work here.

“I’m sure I speak for all governors past and present when I say it’s been a privilege to work with you and come to know you.”