STAFF and former students of a primary school lined the streets to bid a fond farewell to the headteacher in honour of her retirement.

Erica Pursley has been the headteacher of Cawthorne CE Primary School since September 1, 2000.

As a child she attended Kexbrough Infant and Junior School and then moved on to Barnsley Girls’ High School, after gaining a scholarship.

During her career Erica has worked at schools in Dodworth and Monk Bretton after gaining her degree in 1979.

“She has worked tirelessly for all the children in her care,” said the school’s business manager, Karen Hudson. “She is the heart of the local community and is known by everyone in the village.

“She is a very special lady, who will be greatly missed by all who have had the pleasure to work with her for 20 years and by all the children in her care.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, staff at the school have been unable to give Erica the send-off they had hoped.

However they didn’t let that dampen their spirits, and created a parade through the village in Erica’s honour.

“We thought it would be a great way for the community to come out and say goodbye to Erica,” added Karen. “She was driven through the village and the community and former students came out to wish her a happy retirement.”

Chair of the school’s board of governors, Gary Booth, said: “We would like to thank Erica for the professionalism, commitment, compassion and total dedication she has given as headteacher of the school over the past 20 years.

“She has delivered what can only be described as an excellent education to the hundreds of children that have attended our wonderful school.

“I hope Erica will leave the school proud of her achievements and the outstanding legacy she will leave behind. She will be missed by the school family and the wider community.”