A fond farewell has been bid to a popular and well-respected figure in Burnley.
Stuart Smith, headteacher at Thomas Whitham Sixth Form, is leaving town to take up a new post at St Catherine’s School in Athens, Greece.
A special assembly to celebrate the hard work and commitment he has shown to the young people of Burnley was held at the Barden Lane site during which he was presented with gifts from staff, students and governors.
Mr Smith, who came to Burnley as headteacher at the former Habergham High School in 2002, was appointed head of the new Thomas Whitham Sixth Form during the Building Schools for the Future programme.
He was an integral figure in the implementation of the programme which altered the landscape of secondary education in Burnley.
Born in Reading, he moved with his family to Easingwold, Yorkshire, when he was eight. He studied modern history at Oxford University and began his teaching career in Oxfordshire before a move to Lancashire in 1982.
He taught at Morecambe High School and then at Lytham St Annes High School where he was head of the sixth form. After spending four-and-a-half years at Haslingden High School, he was appointed headteacher of Habergham High School.
He will be moving to Greece with his wife Angela while their sons Graeme, Niall and Christopher will remain in the country.
He admitted the lure of Athens and its history had been a great pull but he would greatly miss Burnley.
“The town and its people will always be close to my heart,” he said.