Pupils and staff at a primary school have said goodbye to their "wonderful" headteacher as he prepares to retire after 30 years of service.

Christ Church Ainsworth CE Primary School and Nursery held a celebration on Friday, July 5, to say goodbye to “well-respected” headteacher Mr David Gerrard.

Mr Gerrard, 63, began teaching at the Tommy Lane school in 1994 as deputy head teacher before progressing into the headteacher role a year later.

In an emotive speech, he shared anecdotes from his time at the school and expressed gratitude for his colleagues and for the pupils he has taught across the decades.

He said: “Although it’s the right time for me to leave, I’m going to miss the day-to-day interaction with you all.

"Thank you for your support and loyalty throughout the years."

Mr Gerrard shared fond memories including numerous school trips and one occasion when he was reading to a classroom and his chair slowly collapsed, leading to “hysterical laughter all round”.

The Bury FC fan studied at Derby High School before attending Edge Hill university. He taught at Lowercroft Primary School for 10 years before moving to Christ Church.  

The event was well attended by his current and former colleagues, parents, governors, guests from the community, family members and friends.

His daughter Rachael Gerrard-Taylor, 28, said: “We’re proud of all my dad has achieved in his career.

“I’ve grown up seeing him in a job where he made a big difference to the lives of not just me and my siblings but to so many other children too.”

Deputy head teacher at Christ Church, Ruth Canavan, 54, said: “David is a great friend and a wonderful teacher.

"He has led the school as a family and we all have a lot of respect for him.

“He has a kind, humorous and fair approach which filters down through the entire school and will be missed.”

Year one teacher Chris Matherson, 32, said: “I first came to the school around 14 years ago when I was on a placement from Bury College.

“David has shaped me into the teacher I am today through his guidance and support. He’s the best.”

Janine McGadie, 56, co-headteacher at Lowercroft Primary School and former Christ Church assistant headteacher, spoke of David as “an inspirational legend” while Catherine Hamilton, 50, said that he has “made the school what it is by setting a high leadership standard".