OBE delight for Laneshaw Bridge headteacher

Mrs Eileen Bleasdale who has been given an OBE for her services to education.'Photo Ben Parsons
Mrs Eileen Bleasdale who has been given an OBE for her services to education.'Photo Ben Parsons

A LANESHAW Bridge headteacher has spoken of her delight after receiving an OBE in the most recent New Year’s Honours List.

Eileen Bleasdale, who took over headship at Laneshaw Bridge Primary School in 1988, has been recognised for her services to education.

Throughout her time at the Emmott Lane establishment, she has steered the school through many changes.

In 2001, the school was awarded Beacon School status, and most recently it has undergone a massive £4m expansion.

Talking to the Colne Times, Mrs Bleasdale, who spent her early teaching years in Preston, said: “I was thrilled and quite surprised when I heard of the award.

“It has recognised all the good work that has gone on over the years.

“My educational philosophy has always been to treat every child as an individual and to get the best from each and every one.

“At Laneshaw Bridge Primary School it is ‘cool to be clever’, with success, in no matter what area, being applauded.

“Children are encouraged to perform in music, drama, and sport, as by doing so they gain confidence, which shows itself in their approach to academic work.”

Laneshaw Bridge Primary School prides itself not only on its academic achievements placing it consistently among the top schools in the country, but also on its work in creative, performing arts and sport sectors.

In terms of the school’s international status, the British Council has funded Mrs Bleasdale and other members of staff to visit schools in America, Canada, Pakistan and India. Staff also work with schools in Ethiopia and Brazil.

Mrs Bleasdale, who has seen the school receive three “Outstanding” Ofsted reports and numerous other prestigious awards, added: “The growth of the school and the wider vision has added a global dimension to our work.

“Children are encouraged to see themselves as citizens of the world, where we all help each other.

“None of this success could have been achieved without the extremely supportive governing body, and the second-to-none team of dedicated teachers.

“The teaching and learning that takes place in this school is of the utmost quality, with our motto being ‘Excellence for All’.”

County Coun. Susie Charles, cabinet member for children and schools, has congratulated Mrs Bleasdale on her success, naming the OBE “a very well-deserved accolade”.

She said: “Eileen is an outstanding headteacher. Her school, in a remote part of East Lancashire, is an exemplary educational establishment.

“I have visited the school on more than one occasion, and the sense of enjoyment and learning there is palpable.

“Indeed, it is has become so popular that we have built a new larger school to accommodate all the pupils.”

Mrs Bleasdale recently made the move from full-time to part-time headteacher.

She works with her co-headteacher Natalie Robinson, who shares her vision, and who has had a major hand in the setting up systems of the new school.

It is expected the headteacher will collect her OBE from Buckingham Palace within the next five months.