Upminster headteacher retires today after 28 years at the helm

Andy Kelly, taking part in the school's superhero fun day this week

Andy Kelly, taking part in the school's superhero fun day this week - Credit: Archant

A much loved headteacher is saying his final goodbyes today after spending 28 years in charge of the school.

Andy Kelly, headteacher of Branfil Primary School in Cedar Avenue, Upminster, is embarking on a well earned retirement after 40 years of teaching.

Mr Kelly says he is preparing for an emotional today but is full of praise for the school on his final day as headteacher.

He said: “This is such a fantastic school and everyone is always full of praise for how children behave and how hard they work.

“But they do not do that on their own; we have a fantastic team of adults who guide them to do things the Branfil way.

“It’s something I am proud to have been part of.”

The 59-year-old admits he is a little bit nervous about the move into retirement.

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He added: “Being a headteacher is all I’ve known for the last 28 years and for that to suddenly change is a bit scary.

“But my wife has a list of jobs waiting for me that will include decorating the house inside and out.”

Despite enjoying his time running the school, the headteacher believes the time is right for him to go and for someone else to take over the reins.

Mr Kelly has also sat on a variety of boards including being the chair of the group of schools in the area.

Mr Kelly said: “The role of the headteacher is not just inside these four walls, it’s all the other things you have to do as well.

“It’s one of the loneliest jobs you can do as the buck always stops with you, no matter how good the support network is.”

Although Mr Kelly is retiring, he will continue to play a role in education within the borough.

He will remain part of a quality mark team which visits schools in the area and supports them to become better.