‘It’s the right time to go’ – headteacher announces retirement after nine-year spell

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 December 2019

Steve Powley, who retires as headteacher at Withycombe Raleigh Primary School after nine years. Picture: Sarah Smart

Steve Powley, who retires as headteacher at Withycombe Raleigh Primary School after nine years. Picture: Sarah Smart

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An Exmouth primary school headteacher has brought the curtain down on nine years of leadership after announcing his retirement.

Steve Powley (second from the right) with school governors Alison Cooper and Nick Pearce and acting headteacher Emma Jones. Picture: Sarah SmartSteve Powley (second from the right) with school governors Alison Cooper and Nick Pearce and acting headteacher Emma Jones. Picture: Sarah Smart

Steve Powley stepped down from the role at Withycombe Raleigh Primary School after overseeing its expansion, making it one of the largest in the South West.

He said his goodbyes during an assembly at the school on Thursday (December 19).

A spokesman from the school said he was a 'big part' of the Exmouth community and will be missed by all his colleagues and the families who have passed through the school.

Mr Powley said: "Although it was with some sadness that my time as headteacher of Withycombe is coming to an end, I am very proud of all we have achieved together.

"I will look back on my time here knowing that I have been fortunate enough to have led, and been part of, such a wonderful and successful school with very special people."

Mr Powley first joined the school as a class teacher in 1995, staying until 2000 when he took a headteacher role at Brampford Speke Primary School.

He returned to Withycombe Raleigh in 2010 as headteacher when around 450 pupils were on roll.

In response to a demand for additional primary school places in Exmouth, Withycombe Raleigh was asked to increase its intake and from September 2011 admitted an additional class into the foundation year.

This started the expansion of the school and saw investment from Devon County Council for extensive building work.

Mr Powley leaves at a time when there are around 625 pupils on roll.

He said there are many things he is proud of during his time at the school, but none could have been achieved without 'a very special team of people'.

He added: "I do believe it is the right time for me to go.

"This school has been a wonderful part of my life and I leave excited by its future.

"It will always have a very special place in my heart. I will miss our lovely children, my friends and colleagues who make the school such a very special place."

Deputy headteacher Emma Jones will take over on a temporary basis while a permanent successor is recruited.

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