HE’S led the school for the past 15 years and has helped it to the outstanding rating it holds today.
Now, headteacher Phil Johnson is retiring from the profession and will today leave Glenwood School in Emsworth.
Since he joined, Ofsted has graded the school outstanding three times.
Now, the 59-year-old feels it is the right time to move on.
‘It’s an opportune moment,’ he said.
‘I’m about ready to go. There are good opportunities for colleagues in the school to step up and take my place.’
‘I’ve had a tremendous time. I’ve been here 15 years and it’s been an interesting and challenging time.
‘Overall it’s been fantastic. We’ve come a long way. We’ve been successful through our Ofsted and our school performance generally so I’m pleased.’
Yesterday the school held an end-of-term barbecue which coincided with Mr Johnson’s retirement.
He added: ‘I’m a keen DIY-er and it will be a chance to draw breath, read a bit more, enjoy a bit more music and generally relax.’
Carole Finch is the assistant headteacher.
She said: ‘It’s sad. He’s been instrumental in building the school up and making sure we got three outstanding Ofsteds.
‘He’s a real people person. He’s loved by the staff and students alike.
‘He’s an icon. He has built the whole school up from a shell to what it is today.
‘It’s very much a family atmosphere.’
Mr Johnson will be replaced by deputy headteacher Ruth Witton.
Science teacher Julie Kirk added: ‘He’s a fabulous head. He has been a joy to work with.
‘He has led the school well and it will be sad to see him go but it’s wonderful that we have got Ruth to take over.
‘It’s always been a happy school and I know it has evolved.
‘It’s a lovely place to work and the kids are great.’
Sue Woodhouse is a support assistant at the school.
She added: ‘It’s a great loss to the school but it’s lovely that he can retire when he’s still young enough to enjoy his retirement with his wife.
‘They like to travel a lot and they will have a chance to do that.’
The school provides an education for children aged between 11 and 16 who have moderate learning difficulties.