JIM Upton hasn’t had a day off sick in 21 years as a teacher at Crompton House School.
But he is looking forward to plenty of time off in the future after confirming his retirement at the end of the current term.
Not that the 64-year-old father of two will be lost for things to do.
He has already got a timetable of activities mapped out, including trips to St Petersburg and Washington plus his long standing association with a charitable trust in the Lake District.
However, Jim, whose children, Thomas, 22, and 19-year-old Freya, have been pupils at the Rochdale Road school, will be sad to leave.
“The children have been fantastic and the school has a very good academic record,” Jim said,
“But it is also very good at supporting children with music, drama and sporting talents.
“The school works on the whole person not just the Academic side.
“Additionally, I have always had faith. I was a Methodist from very early on so I appreciate the ethos of the school with its Church of England background.”
Jim, born in Northamptonshire, took up his first teaching post in Greenwich, South East London.
But after 20 years and looking to start a family, he decided to move out of the capital.
“I wasn’t too sure where Oldham was,” he admitted. “But I knew it was about halfway between where my parents lived and where my wife’s parents lived.
“I have loved living up here. I live in Saddleworth and the community feel is fantastic. I have coped with everything except the rain,” he laughed.
“Crompton House has meant a lot to me since I moved up.
“Both my children came through the school and took part in lots of music events.
“One of my highlights was seeing the school orchestra play at the Royal Albert Hall in 2007.
“I also sung in the school choir for a long time and it was fantastic to sing at York Minster, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.”
Headmaster Karl Newell paid tribute to his loyal deputy, saying: “Jim joined Crompton House in 1996 and so will have been on the Crompton House Leadership team for over 21 years when he retires.
“He been fully committed and given a huge amount of his life to the school and in particular has helped ensure music thrives and continues to have a positive impact on the lives of many.
“He has not had single day off due to illness – quite amazing. We will be celebrating his retirement properly at the end of this term.”