THE headteacher of Bitham Brook Primary School in Westbury says it has been a “real privilege and an honour” to work with children, as he prepares to leave the school this summer.

David Ross is to retire in August after seven years at the school, which has 319 pupils and more than 50 staff.

He said: “It will be very sad for me to leave Bitham Brook as we have all worked together to establish such a strong school family.

“It has been a real privilege and an honour to work with children.

“The biggest change in education over my 36 years in teaching has been the expectations of what children can achieve.

“It is incredible what children can do now compared with when I started out in teaching.”

Mr Ross, 59, from Trowbridge, has decided to retire at 60 to claim his pension and to devote more time to his family and hobbies.

He is married to Karen and the couple have three adult children and one granddaughter, aged seven months.

His interests include photography and travelling and he is also a member of the Maranatha Community Church, which meets every Sunday at the John of Gaunt School in Trowbridge.

Mr Ross added: “I am immensely proud of the children at Bitham Brook for the way in which they show enthusiasm for all the learning opportunities that they are given, for the way in which they care for and support each other, and for their exemplary behaviour whenever they represent the school.”

In a letter to parents announcing his retirement he also paid tribute to his “strong, talented and committed” team of staff and thanked all of the families who had been “so supportive and encouraging”.

He added: “Success only comes through a strong partnership between home and school, which we have in abundance at Bitham Brook.”

The governors will now begin the process of recruiting a successor, who is expected to be in place in September for the start of the new autumn term.