A retiring headteacher has faced the most difficult challenges of her career in her last months in the job.

Jacqueline Laver has spent 30 years guiding Slough's Priory Primary and Foundation School in Orchard Avenue from one success after another - 17 years of them as its head.

Under her watch the school has expanded to take 900 pupils at one point, while earning a reputation for creative and sporting achievement.

It also boasts its own Resource Base for children with complex needs which Mrs Laver sees as a 'special school' in its own right.

But nothing could have prepared her for the challenges of her last few months - looking after 70 key workers' children before coping with the gradual return of other pupils.

She said: "I have been leading a school through a worldwide Pandemic for 12 weeks. Not really how I thought my time at Priory School would come to a close.

"How many times in the last twelve weeks have I had to trust my judgement? More so than probably any other time in my career.

"I feel frustration, sadness, anger and hopelessness at times. However, I told staff on June 1 that the two values we need to get us through until July are teamwork and positivity. I feel privileged to have touched the lives of thousands of children and to have worked with so many amazing people.

"I have seen many talented newly qualified teachers and trainees flourish and reach their aspirations. They have developed their careers and become great leaders. I have even seen children that I taught become trainees and join the teaching profession. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing people that I have nurtured and coached do so well.

"There is so much to think about for the school in September……..a full recovery plan, emotional health and wellbeing, recovery curriculum, lessons learnt in our new way of teaching and intervention to name just a few. As well as a challenge, it is a brand new opportunity for schools to be creative and innovative."

Mrs Laver, 58, lives in Dorney with her husband Malcolm. They have four grandchildren.