The children of Penryn Infants School have said goodbye to their head teacher who has retired after 19 years in the role.

Gillian Wright, who has been at the school for 26 years after becoming deputy head in 1988, said that while the decision to leave was fully her own, the move towards a joint junior and infants school meant it seemed the right time.

She said: “When I reached 57, the two schools were coming together and although there have been some delays I thought it was coming closer, and it seemed like a sensible time to leave.”

Gillian has spent her “entire life” in school: she started teaching in 1978 in Lancashire, and moved to Cornwall in 1984 to work as a music teacher in Threemilestone.

She then settled at Penryn four years later, where she was a classroom teacher as well as deputy head.

Gillian was also responsible for music and staff development. She said: “I’ve loved my time as a teacher, you don’t do a job for 26 years without enjoying it.

“I never thought of doing anything else, from a small child I knew I wanted to be a teacher. It was never a job, it was a vocation to me.

“It’s sad to say goodbye, but one of the biggest joys is seeing people who I taught come back as parents.

“I’ve been very privileged to teach in Penryn for as long as I have.”

Mary May, chairman of the school’s governors, said: “It was Gill’s decision to retire. She had spent many years at Penryn Infant School after taking over the headship from former headmistress Annette Hillman.

“Gill forged links with the school and St Gluvias Church, her pastoral care at the school was well proven. The governors wish her well in her retirement.”

To mark Gillian’s retirement, the school organised an open day, with friends, parents and former pupils and colleagues dropping in to say goodbye.