A HEADTEACHER moved parents and pupils to tears with an emotional resignation letter in which she slams the Government’s academy conversion plans.

Kit Messenger has been in education for the last 23 years and in her role as head teacher at Manor Field Primary School in Burgess Hill for four, but feels she has no alternative.

She will leave her post at the end of the academic year, and admitted the decision was a heartbreaking one to make.

Ms Messenger said that in "the current educational climate" she could no longer feel it possible to achieve her vision and that the recent announcement that all schools should become academies strengthened her belief that now is the time to leave.

She added: “My love for teaching and school improvement has run like blood through my veins and I have constantly sacrificed friendships and family life in order to secure better provision for children.

“I now find that much of my work is spent completing bureaucratic tasks which have no or little positive impact on our pupils and this has left me feeling increasingly frustrated and unhappy - it has now begun to have a detrimental impact on my physical and emotional health.

“I have also found it progressively difficult to protect staff from workloads that leave little time for their own families, feeling that the only way to secure good outcomes at inspection is to push them further than I believe is reasonable.

“The decision to resign from the post of headteacher and bring to an end a career that I have loved so very deeply has been incredibly difficult - it is no exaggeration to say it has been heartbreaking.”

Her governing body has delayed an appointment of a new head until January 2017 while Wendy Lawson will make the step up from deputy to interim head.

Parent Laura Withan, 36, from Burgess Hill whose son Oscar, six, is in Year 2 and whose daughter Poppy, four, will join the cohort in September, said: “She’s just like no one I’ve ever met before in my whole life.

“She’s inspirational and motivational for the children and she’s just going to be so sorely missed.

“I think we all support her decision, but it’s a very difficult time for everyone and people – including myself and my son – were left in tears when the announcement was made.

“It feels like we’re on the brink of an educational crisis with the government’s plans."

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the White Paper which includes the plans to convert every school in the country is "about a lot more" than academy conversions and also focused on standards and finding good teachers.

If the plans become law, all schools, primary and secondary, would need to be academies by 2022.