THE departing "beating heart" of a Halesowen Primary School left this week after 27 years service.

Linda Poultney, aged 58, has worked throughout since joining in 1990 and has trained six current members of staff.

She started as a nursery nurse, then became nursery manager before founding the school's community room in 2003 as family link coordinator.

Head teacher Karen Brass said: "Linda is such a very special lady, she will be missed by everyone at the school.

"She is the beating heart of the this school, she has done a wonderful job training members of staff who will continue her good work."

She added: "She will leave a legacy that will not be forgotten from the community room she built up to the staff that she has trained."

Mrs Poultney's last day is today (Friday) and the staff have got lots of surprises planned for her.

She said: "It is with mixed emotions that I am leaving the Caslon Primary School family, but I will be getting to spend more time with my own family so I am really looking forward to that."