Killinghall headteacher retires after 13 years
Jul 18, 2023
Sarah Bassitt
The school has more than doubled in size during Sarah Bassitt's time as head.

A headteacher at a village primary school near Harrogate is retiring this week after 13 years in the position.

Sarah Bassitt, who began teaching 36 years ago, became headteacher of Killinghall Church of England Primary School in 2011.

At the time, the school was struggling financially and accommodated 83 students.

The number has more than doubled to 180 in the decade since, during which Ms Bassitt has overseen major developments at the school, including three new classrooms, a library and a larger playground.

The school was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at its most recent inspection last year.

However, Ms Bassitt said:

“My vision for the school has never been about grades and judgements, it’s been driven by creating positive opportunities that mean that children can thrive and be happy.”

During her time as head, she also helped the school through many challenges, such as an asbestos roof fall in 2013, covid and a flood last year which left some classrooms out of use for months.

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A leaving day was held last week to celebrate Ms Bassitt’s time as headteacher, at which parents and pupils at said their goodbyes and wished her luck.

Ms Bassitt said:

“I feel privileged to have worked with the staff, governors, parents and pupils of Killinghall CE Primary School – they have been my life for over 13 years and I will miss them all”

“I will still be involved in education, as I intend to maintain my position on an education board for a local federation of schools. Playing golf and walking will fill my time, as well as holidays in term time!”

She also expressed her gratitude to business manager Helen Potter and Elouise Foster, the first staff member she appointed in 2011, who were also leaving and said:

“The vision for the school has been theirs, not just mine, and they have supported me every step of the way.”

Is a long-serving teacher retiring at your local school this week? Let us know at [email protected].