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Hoping to finish in the summer

(Photograph) - Brian Ward, (above) head of careers at Garforth community college in Leeds, was frustrated because the original deadline of March 31 fell one day short of his 50th birthday.

He now hopes to retire in the summer and help his wife with her pharmacy business but is not certain his request will be granted.

"This new change of heart by the Government could change the course of my life. I was sickened when I heard the March 31 deadline and now I am really sorry for anyone whose birthday falls in September.

"Mrs Shephard may say that teachers are retiring too early but, if you look round the staffroom, you see the wear and tear on people's faces. Children prefer the young, vibrant teachers."

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