A HEADTEACHER is to retire after four decades working in schools — for a second career as a funeral director.

Alison Howarth, who has worked in schools across Bolton and Darwen, has decided to call time on her career after seven years at her final school, St Barnabas CofE Primary in Darwen.

Mrs Howarth, aged 60, is married to John Howarth, owner of Howarth’s Funeral Services, and she is already a qualified funeral director.

She spent most of her teaching career in Bolton, with stints at Blackshaw Primary and Sharples Primary, before becoming deputy headteacher at Gaskill Primary School.

She was later appointed headteacher at Haslam Park Primary School before moving on to St Barnabas.

The mother-of-two said: “I would also like to spend some time with my three grandchildren and do some volunteering.”

Mrs Howarth said she would miss the staff and pupils when she retired.

She added: “Everyone at the school works hard and everyone enjoys their time here.

“Staff meet together socially and at work we learn from each other in many ways. Every member of staff is valued, whatever their role in school, and everyone wants the best for all our children.”