Farewell from one of the best

Patricia Holden
Patricia Holden

AN award-winning teacher who inspired generations of schoolchildren has retired.

Patricia Holden estimates she has taught around 1,500 children during her 38-year career at Prescot County Primary.

The 60-year-old has won countless awards during her long and fruitful career, twice being hailed as ‘more than outstanding’ by Ofsted and winning the government’s excellent teacher status in 2005.

She is leaving to spend more time on holidays with her husband Phil and to look after her brother, who’s recovering from a serious illness.

Mrs Holden started teaching at Prescot in 1973, one year before the borough of Knowsley, where she spent most of her career, was created, .

“It was Division 16 Lancashire in those days,” she said. “I was teaching when Knowsley was formed so no-one can claim they have taught here longer than me!

“It doesn’t feel real to be leaving – I’ll really miss the children and the staff. We’re like a family.”

She is also hoping to continue her life long interest in history.

She said: “When my brother was ill recently, I realised there’s still a lot of other things I want to do with my life. I’d like to go to night school, have holidays and spend more time with my brother.

“But I’ll always come back to visit – after 38 years here I won’t be able to stay away.”

Headteacher Catherine Fairhurst praised Mrs Holden’s passion and drive, describing her as one of the best teachers she has ever worked with.

She said: “She’s a natural, but also very hardworking. There’s never been a day when she hasn’t given 100 per cent. She is one of the best I have ever worked with.

“She believes in every child and their ability to achieve. But adults can learn from her as well – she’s such a good role model and very good at developing other people’s skills.”