Foulridge headteacher loses cancer battle (57)

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A POPULAR headteacher, praised for making learning fun for hundreds of children, has lost her battle with cancer.

Anne Wells, who taught at St Michael and All Angels’ Primary School, Foulridge, in the 1990s, has died aged 57.

Tributes to the “dedicated” and “fun-loving” headteacher have poured in from former pupils and colleagues nationwide.

Anne was born in Stockport but moved to Frosham, Cheshire, as a child. After finishing her studies at Helbsy High School in the town she embarked on teaching training at Ripon College.

Her first teaching post was at Godolphin School, Slough, where she quickly progressed and was soon given the role of deputy head at neighbouring Marish First School.

Her husband Peter paid tribute to her, saying: “Anne was an exemplary teacher with an extremely positive outlook who worked hard to make learning fun. She believed every child, regardless of their background, should be given the same opportunities and experiences.”

After only a few years in teaching, Anne had risen to the position of headteacher at Oakfield School, Windsor, and later moved to Lancashire where she taught at St Michael and All Angels.

Peter said: “Anne came to Foulridge in 1994 and spent a good few happy years there. She loved the school and being involved with the tight-knit community.”

Chairman of Foulridge Parish Council Graham Cannon paid tribute to her saying: “Anne was like a happy fun whirlwind as headteacher at Foulridge. She was extremely success and popular with her colleagues, pupils and the wider community. Many Foulridge residents will have very happy memories of their time at school under her direction.”

Anne left Foulridge in 2002 when she was head-hunted by Lancashire County Council to amalgamate two Burnley primary schools, creating Burnley Springfield Community Primary School.

She took early retirement 2008 to care for her mother, settling in Chatburn.

Peter said: “Teaching was in Anne’s blood and she was worried that when she retired she would just be sitting around doing nothing, so she decided to focus her attention on doing something for charity. Just a few weeks after she retired she trekked the Great Wall of China, raising £5,000 for Age UK. It was a great experience for her, seeing a different way of life and looking on her own life from a different angle, so that when she came home she could make the break from teaching.”

Retirement also gave Anne the chance to pursue her hobbies, including rambling, reading and travelling.

She was diagnosed with cancer last November and was told in May that her treatment had been unsuccessful. Determined to make the most of their last few months together, Peter and Anne took trips to London and Venice where Anne fulfilled a lifelong wish, travelling home on the Orient Express.

Her funeral will be held at Chatburn Church on August 30th at 1 p.m.

Peter said: “I have been overwhelmed by the amount of people who have offered their kind words and sympathy since Anne died. They all say how loving, conscientious and hard-working she was and how she brought fun to education, which is wonderful to hear.”