It was the end of an era for a Biggleswade special school as staff, governors, pupils and dignitaries gathered together to say goodbye to their headteacher Julie Mudd.
Ivel Valley School held a garden party on Thursday, July 13, at its secondary site in Hitchmead Road, to mark Julie’s retirement and celebrate her career which spans over 40 years.
The school was created in 2010 when two Biggleswade schools - Sunnyside and Hitchmead - were amalgamated. Julie began her teaching career at Sunnyside in 1976, progressing to headteacher and then becoming headteacher at the newly-named school, overseeing its complicated merger.
Chair of governors, Steve Court, paid tribute to Julie’s long service and dedication.
He told guests at the garden party: “Over the years we have all seen a huge change in education and in attitudes towards special schools. But one thing hasn’t changed - that’s the dedication and commitment of staff that work in schools like this one, and that is embodied in our headteacher Julie Mudd. For more than 40 years she has given everything to this establishment.
“She have left an enormous mark on this special school and on the thousands of children whose lives she has touched over the years.”
Listing Julie’s achievements, Steve singled out her having been commended for excellence in special needs teaching in the eastern region in the Lloyds TSB Plato: Teacher of the Year Awards in 2000, and for being awarded an OBE in 2013 for her services to education. He said: “She was rightly recognised, and I can’t think of anyone who has deserved it more.”
Julie thanked all the guests and paid tribute to all the staff, governors, pupils, parents and guardians who had supported her over the decades.
She said: “I know you will all do well in the future and the school will continue to go from strength to strength.”