A former teacher celebrated receiving a Royal honour on the same day she retired after devoting 39 years to pupils in one Scottish rural area.

Anne Paterson, 60, toasted her OBE for services to education with a glass of champagne after initially believing the email was a scam.

Mrs Paterson has spent all her career in Argyll, beginning as a classroom teacher and ending as Chief Education Officer for Argyll and Bute council. 

She held teaching posts in Park Primary in Oban, Inveraray Primary, Ardrishaig Primary, Lochgilphead Primary, Minard Primary and was awarded Scottish head teacher of the year in 2006 while at Inveraray school.

Her passion for education also inspired her two daughters to follow in her footsteps. Emma Paterson teaches at Wallace High in Stirling while Kirsten Rennie is Principal Teacher at Inveraray Primary School.

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"I'm an Argyll girl, I attended school there, I then went off to Jordanhill and was quite keen to come back, she said: "But then the inevitable happened, I married a farmer in Argyll and the rest is history.

"Friday was quite a busy day with lots of messages but I think it's sunk in now. 

"The email actually came into my husband John's email address and he said to me, 'come and see this'. I couldn't believe it. We sat for a wee while and wondered if it was a scam. I was really very humbled and unusually for me, speechless.

"It was also my last day of work so I'm now retired. I always said it's best to go when you are at the top of your game."

The couple recently left their hill farm above the village of Minard on Loch Fyne and are now settled in the village.

Mrs Paterson said she believes teachers face far more pressure than they did when she started out.

"I seem to remember that you felt freer to take forward the curriculum that you felt the children required.

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"That's something I've always been passionate about, that the curriculum needs to be based on the children that you have got. We need to ensure that it's not a standardised curriculum."

However, the former teacher won't be leaving education completely, she plans to continue with a part-time doctorate in rural education at Strathclyde University.

"There's been very little research done into rural education anywhere in Scotland," she said. 

"There has been in Canada, American and Australia but very little here so I felt that I wanted to look at that.

"I think where you are from, whether its rural or urban, is important to how we develop. Within the rural situation there is a very strong community around the school and that brings a real sense of belonging and who they are. 

"Something that has summed that up for me is the Native American proverb which says, first of all give your children roots then wings to fly. That's something I've always held dear."

Marlene Croy, from Kirkwall, received a BEM for her voluntary service to St Magnus Cathedral and to the Orkney community.