9th October 2009 at 01:00
Jane Hannah, the first headteacher of the new Windygoul Primary in Tranent, died of leukaemia at her home in Edinburgh, aged 56, on August 30

Jane was born in Falkirk and attended Bonnybridge Primary and Denny High in Stirlingshire. She went on to take her teaching diploma at Callander Park College in Falkirk and took up her first teaching post at Ballingry Primary in Fife.

She never married but always remained close to her family, including her mother Jessie, bother George and nephews Neil, Robert and Angus.

Jane was very fond of the arts, especially cinema, and was a great reader and traveller. Soon after qualifying, Jane took up several posts abroad. In the late 1970s, she moved to Germany to teach children of the British Forces, and in the early 1980s, she moved to Australia for a year as part of a teacher exchange programme.

Jane worked in East Lothian for many years and was headteacher of Tranent Infant School for many years. While there, she was deeply committed to the setting up of the first additional support needs base. She was extremely focused in her efforts to co-ordinate all the agencies concerned with the positive development of individual pupils.

She was a keen supporter and promoter of structured play (now acknowledged as the foundation of active learning). This forms part of her lasting legacy, as does the planning and design of the new eco-friendly Windygoul Primary, which was opened in November 2007 by the First Minister, Alex Salmond. Sadly, Jane was only a year into her post as head-teacher at Windygoul Primary when ill-health struck.

She was well known in the Tranent community and was held in high regard by colleagues, parents and pupils. She was someone who expected work of the highest standard.

However the person from whom she expected the most was herself. She would work tirelessly into the night so that every detail was in place to ensure that her staff could perform to the highest standard.

One long-time colleague and friend of Jane Hannah said that teaching was Jane's true and natural vocation. "Her dedication, expertise and tireless pursuit of excellence in education put her head and shoulders above others in her profession.

"Jane was a woman before her time and it is only now that the educational establishment is catching up with her innovative thinking and inspirational ideas. The new Curriculum for Excellence has recently outlined ideas and procedures that she had in place years ago."

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