A 'VERY talented' Bolton teacher is retiring after after almost 40 years educating youngsters across the town.

Jane Bowden, aged 61, has taught at Clevelands Preparatory School for 28 years specialising in PE, alongside coaching some of the school's sports teams.

Mrs Bowden, who was born and has lived all her life in Bolton, spent her early years in Bradshaw, attending Smithills Grammar School, before studying teaching at St Mary's College, Cheltenham.

She took her first professional teaching post at Westhoughton High School, teaching PE between 1978 and 1986, before stepping down to start a family.

The mother of three and grandmother of one balanced raising her children with being a teaching assistant across Bolton, until she joined Clevelands Preparatory School in September, 1989.

There she taught PE and art part-time for 10 years, before going full-time, taking on more subjects and becoming a class teacher.

In a career of many highlights, Mrs Bowden said that Cleveland's many sporting achievements had been the greatest - especially the involvement of the schools gymnastics, golf and tennis teams in last year's Great Manchester Games.

Mrs Bowden said: "I will be very sad to leave Clevelands School, but it is time to move on.

"I am looking forward to my retirement because I have a new grandchild who is going to take up most of my time, and I am going to be able to give more time to playing my favourite pastime, golf."

To celebrate Mrs Bowden's retirement the school is holding a leaving assembly on December 19, which will be attended by pupils, staff and parents, past and present.

Lesley Parlane, headmistress at Clevelands Preparatory School, said: "Over many years Mrs Bowden has been a very valued member of staff. She is a very talented PE and art teacher, so we really will miss her."

Current Clevelands school Year Six pupil, Evie Hall, said: "Mrs Bowden always motivated us to do our best, I will really miss her."

And Tilly Crabtree, also from Year Six said: "Mrs Bowden is the best teacher and I am sad that she is leaving."