Retiring Mr White did the job right

Copley Junior School head teacher, Alan White, is retiring after 14 years at the Sprotbrough school. Picture: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com
Copley Junior School head teacher, Alan White, is retiring after 14 years at the Sprotbrough school. Picture: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com
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A headteacher who enjoys his job so much he’d have done it for free is retiring after 36 years.

Alan White, who has taught at Copley Junior School for 14 years, was given a big send-off by colleagues and children last week.

The 57-year-old said: “I’ve always thought that my job was to bring the team together - whether they’re teachers, governors, cleaners or dinner ladies.

“It’s been a great privilege and I can’t believe I was paid to do something I’ve enjoyed so much.”

Mr White, of Stainton, was born in Sheffield and attended teacher training college in Liverpool before taking his first job as a road safety officer in Rotherham.

“I have been constantly ribbed by my friends, who think I was the original Mr Tufty!” He said.

He took his first teaching job in about 1978 at Intake First School. After seven years, he moved to Estfeld School in Tickhill for six years before becoming deputy head teacher at St Mary’s Primary School, also in Tickhill.

He took over as headteacher of Copley Junior School in January 1999 and has been there ever since.

Last week, the school celebrated his retirement with a special assembly featuring a performance of a dance routine called the ‘White Work-out’ by pupils. There was then a picnic on the school field.

School spokesman Liz Roebuck said: “Mr White has been a dedicated headteacher here and has been a very successful captain of the ‘Copley Ship’. His contribution to the life of Copley Junior School and the development of many children has been tremendous. His enthusiasm will be missed - especially for his involvement in cross country, orienteering, football and the numerous residentials he has attended.”

In his retirement, Mr White is looking forward to spending more time playing golf and walking in the peaks, and he already has a trip booked to travel around Norway in a caravan.

He will also be spending more time with his wife, Christine, 57, four sons, and five-month-old grandson.

However, he hasn’t completely said goodbye to work as he will be a visiting mentor for students at York St John University.