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Mrs Ratcliffe says goodbye after 29 years

A popular teacher has retired after notching up 29 years working for the same school.

Carole Ratcliffe, service leader for Additional Learning Needs, said an emotional goodbye to Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan in Abergele prior to breaking up for the school holidays. Mrs Ratcliffe, who is married and has one daughter and two step daughters, began her career at Ysgol y Grango in Rhosllanerugog, in 1982 after studying at Cartrefle College.Teaching was a family affair as her mother and two older sisters were also teachers. She came to Emrys ap Iwan in 1988 with a mission to see the “integration of additional learning needs” in education.

Mrs Ratcliffe admitted that the success of this had been one of the “many highlights” of her career. “I am sad to be leaving but at the same time excited about the next chapter of my life,” she said. “I am extremely proud of Ysgol Emrys Iwan and the provision available for all learners including those with additional learning needs.”

In 2009, Mrs Ratcliffe was awarded Teacher of the Year for Additional Learning Needs. Emrys ap Iwan became one of the most “inclusive” schools in the area, with consideration given to wheelchair access and a variety of medical needs.

Mrs Ratcliffe decided to retire as her husband Dave, who taught at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan for 43 years, retired last year. Mr Ratcliffe was deputy headteacher before he retired but he then returned part time to teach sociology.

Lee Cummins, headteacher, said: “Carole will be missed by all the staff and learners in the school. She has made a huge contribution to the education of so many young people. She has demonstrated an absolute commitment to all learners and their parents. I wish her a very long and happy retirement.”