Head teacher of Wedmore school retires from role

This is The West Country: Vicar Richard Neill, Jenny Venning, Pauline Dodds, School Improvement Adviser, and Jinny Soffe, a school Governor. Photo: submitted. Vicar Richard Neill, Jenny Venning, Pauline Dodds, School Improvement Adviser, and Jinny Soffe, a school Governor. Photo: submitted.

A MUCH-loved head teacher at a Primary School near Wedmore has attended her very last assembly.

Jenny Venning has retired from her role as head teacher at Hugh Sexey Middle School, but will be continuing her work with schools in a consultancy capacity and Ofsted inspections.

She joined Hugh Sexey in 2009 and has seen the school judged as ‘outstanding’ by both Ofsted and the Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools.

During her final assembly last week Ms Venning said: “Thank you to everyone; children, staff, parents and governors who have all made my time as head teacher of Hugh Sexey School such a very happy time.

“I felt so privileged to be a part of the final whole school assembly today. The children had composed special lyrics for me to a well known tune.

“Pauline Dodds from the diocese of Bath and Wells presented me with a special picture and I had flowers and cards from the School Council, Governors and the Cheddar Valley head teachers. What a send off! Thank you all so much.”

In recognition of her leadership role in a church school, Jenny was presented with a special plaque from the School Improvement Adviser, Pauline Dodds of the Bath and Wells Diocesan, who thanked Ms Venning for all of her hard work over the years.

Jenny was appointed as a National Leader of Education in 2011 and has supported schools across Somerset. Other accolades have included a Gifted and Talented Award and Basic Skills award.

In the wider educational field, Ms Venning has forged links with Sweden, Spain and Greece through the Comenius project.

More dramatic events took place in January 2012, when a fire broke out during the school day, causing all pupils and staff to be evacuated and forcing school closure for around two weeks.

Jo Farmer, of Hugh Sexey Middle School, said: “The assembly was an enjoyable event with music and song dedicated to Jenny. Attended by our local Vicar and Governors, Mrs Venning wished all of our pupils success in the future.”

Interviews for the new head teacher are being held in January. In the meantime Liz Stiddard, the deputy head will be taking on the roll as head until September.

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