Jan attended Balshaw’s Grammar from 1967 - 1972 when her family left the area where she continued her A levels in a school up in the north east. Mr Bleasdale was the head, Mr Tromans her English master, Mr Leathley took her for Latin. Jan says “we were streamed in Latin after the first year and I was in 2L1”.
Jan went into education, became lead adviser for North Yorkshire School Improvement service and then led the secondary post graduate teacher training courses at a Leeds university. Now retired with Parkinson’s Disease, she is an international award winning artist, working with Oxford University on a research project. Her work is now shown in international art galleries and exhibitions. Jan says her “real joy comes from working on the Picturing Parkinson’s research project for Oxquip. I lead workshops for people with Parkinson’s across the Uk and USA enabling them to share their lived reality through art and poetry. I made a film of our work which was released on World Parkinson’s Day - I narrate it. I paint as WWS - woman with stick.”
Jan says that: “Balshaw’s gave me a passion for learning, a thirst for self improvement and a commitment to others instead of self - our school motto.”