A STAFF member is celebrating 35 years of 'excellent service' at a London Road secondary school.

Michael Bull, of Charlton, has supported Winton Community Academy throughout the decades and unknowingly helped out with his own commemoration.

The school had arranged to plant a tree to celebrate the milestone anniversary.

However in 'true fashion' when the senior technician, who also helps maintain the school grounds, saw two students struggling to dig the hole for the tree, he helped them plant his own dedication tree a day early.

Of his time at the academy, the 58-year-old said: "I've enjoyed working closely with the teaching profession and no day is ever the same at Winton."

He first joined the academy when it was a split male and female campus joined by a bridge over London Road and had an outside swimming pool.

Mr Bull has seen many changes over the years, including at least five headteachers, two school fires and numerous newly-qualified teachers join for him to pass on his wisdom.

He also planted the school's millennium wood.

Headteacher Nathan Thomas said: "Dedication and resilience are Michael's middle names.

"His values and principles have guided him through 35 years of excellent service at Winton Community Academy.

"Through innovation and technical ability Michael has been able to service and maintain lots of vital equipment over the years, lots of items have also stood the test of time and are still in use due to his expertise."