THE executive principal of the borough’s first free school has announced her retirement in a shock announcement.
Elizabeth Haddock, who had been in charge of Atherton Community School (ACS) since it opened, said she was stepping down from her role with immediate effect on Tuesday.
Ms Haddock said the decision to leave the school, created on the former Hesketh Fletcher site, had been difficult but one she had been considering for some time.
Vice principal Lynn Burton will now become acting principal at ACS, which is run by London-based education organisation Chapel St.
In a statement on the school’s website, Ms Haddock said: “I have not taken the decision to retire lightly, nor in haste. As some of you are aware this has been on my mind for some time.
“However, decisions as momentous as this are always difficult to make. I would like to thank all those who have worked with me over the last three years to create this amazing school.
“I believe whole heartedly in the ethos and values of Chapel St that places each school is at the centre of its community.
“I know that so many people in the community have worked well beyond any human expectations to ensure that children in this school have every possible chance in life to become great in their own way and I am humbled by the experience of working alongside you all.”
In addition to her work at ACS Ms Haddock also helped to establish Burnley High School.
Chapel St CEO Dr Russell Rook said: “It has been a privilege to work with Elizabeth in establishing Atherton Community School and I will be ever grateful for her friendship and support.
“The challenges and opportunities of the last years have provided many wonderful memories and much to celebrate.
“Elizabeth takes with her our best wishes and prayers for what I know will be an enjoyable, productive and fruitful retirement.”