‘Our best ed­u­ca­tion role mod­els don’t al­ways get the recog­ni­tion they de­serve’

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE - Dave Bald­win

Of all the hard jobs in the world, one of the hard­est is be­ing a good teacher. Be­ing a good head­teacher is even harder. Ev­ery child in York­shire de­serves the best pos­si­ble ed­u­ca­tion, what­ever their back­ground, and we rely so much on those com­mit­ted in­di­vid­u­als who can in­spire hope, ig­nite the imag­i­na­tion and in­stil a life-long love of learn­ing.

Stuck be­tween pupils, par­ents and politi­cians, our best ed­u­ca­tion role mod­els don’t al­ways get the recog­ni­tion they de­serve, which is why I was so happy to see some of Brad­ford’s finest be­ing sin­gled out in the New Years Honours list. De­vel­op­ing our young and en­ter­pris­ing pop­u­la­tion is so im­por­tant to our district’s fu­ture. The men and women who carry this re­spon­si­bil­ity de­serve all our sup­port.

Dun­can Jac­ques, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Ex­ceed Acad­e­mies Trust, be­comes a CBE for ser­vices to ed­u­ca­tion. The multi-academy trust cur­rently runs six schools – Copthorne Pri­mary, Hor­ton Grange Pri­mary, Hor­ton Park Pri­mary, Ap­ple­ton Academy, Holy­brook Pri­mary and Har­den Pri­mary serv­ing com­mu­ni­ties with some of the highest lev­els of so­cial and eco­nomic de­pri­va­tion in the district. All bar one of these schools have been judged as Out­stand­ing or Good by Of­sted.

Mr Jac­ques said he was “de­lighted, sur­prised and hon­oured” with the award and on so­cial me­dia thanked all those who had sent him con­grat­u­la­tions, in­clud­ing Jenni Mayo, head­teacher of Oak­worth Pri­mary School, who said “many chil­dren in Brad­ford have ben­e­fited from your high as­pi­ra­tions and vi­sion­ary lead­er­ship”. Ker­sten Eng­land, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Brad­ford coun­cil, summed it up when she said Dun­can is “a great leader and ed­u­ca­tor… can’t think of a more im­por­tant role in team Brad­ford right now”. I’ll sec­ond that, on be­half of the Brad­ford Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship, which fully recog­nises the con­tri­bu­tion that teach­ers make.

Ruby Bhatti be­comes an OBE for ser­vices to young peo­ple and hous­ing. Ruby is an ex­pe­ri­enced so­lic­i­tor, for­mi­da­ble ad­vo­cate and ded­i­cated pub­lic ser­vant who has de­voted much of her time to im­por­tant causes in Brad­ford. Ms Bhatti’s nu­mer­ous ed­u­ca­tion com­mit­ments in­clude board roles at the Dixons

Acad­e­mies Char­i­ta­ble Trust, Rain­bow

Schools Trust and the Brad­ford Dioce­san Acad­e­mies Trust.

She sup­ports other ed­u­ca­tion lead­ers on gov­er­nance on be­half of Brad­ford coun­cil and the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion.

Ms Bhatti told her lo­cal news­pa­per: “The hon­our is an ex­tremely hum­bling one which I ded­i­cate to my late par­ents who brought me up and al­ways tried to help oth­ers.” We need peo­ple like Ruby to make sure our schools are run prop­erly. Thank you, and con­grat­u­la­tions.

Christo­pher Brown also be­comes an OBE, for ser­vices to higher ed­u­ca­tion. Mr Brown, of Sut­ton-in-Craven near Keigh­ley, is chair of coun­cil at the Univer­sity of Hud­der­s­field, a post he has held since 2004. He helped steer this im­por­tant York­shire in­sti­tu­tion to gold-rated sta­tus ac­cord­ing to the Teach­ing Ex­cel­lence Frame­work. Mr Brown, who read law at Ox­ford, is a for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of gear maker David Brown Group plc and chairs the West York­shire engi­neer­ing com­pa­nies Wake­field Acous­tics and Ther­mal En­ergy Ven­tures.

It can be tempt­ing for de­part­ing ex­ec­u­tives to dis­ap­pear to the golf course. Not Mr Brown, who has ded­i­cated nearly 15 years to the ad­vance­ment of higher ed­u­ca­tion.

He’s also a di­rec­tor at Ilk­ley Lawn Ten­nis and Squash Club. (That’s rack­ets, not clubs.) Con­grat­u­la­tions, Chris.

Wahida Shaffi be­comes an MBE for ser­vices to women, young peo­ple, in­ter­faith and com­mu­nity re­la­tions. Ms Shaffi is the best sort of teacher. She has more than 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing with di­verse com­mu­ni­ties from across the world. Af­ter com­plet­ing an MA in in­ter­na­tional pol­i­tics and se­cu­rity stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Brad­ford’s Depart­ment of

Peace Stud­ies, Ms Shaffi has gone on to fa­cil­i­tate, de­liver train­ing, com­plete research, de­velop and man­age pro­grammes and pro­duce films on sub­jects re­lated to equal­ity, di­ver­sity, gen­der, con­flict and in­ter­faith in Brad­ford, the UK, Sri Lanka, Is­rael, Pales­tine, Syria, Turkey, Ro­ma­nia and Pak­istan.

Did I men­tion Ms Shaffi is also the na­tional di­rec­tor of the Cat­a­lyst pro­gramme, for­merly the na­tional women’s lead with the Chris­tian Mus­lim Fo­rum and is cur­rently fi­nal­is­ing the fi­nal phase of her Churchill Fel­low­ship? I’ll leave it to her friend Jenny Rams­den who de­scribed Wahida on so­cial me­dia as “the strong­est, kind­est, nicest, most in­tel­li­gent woman”. Con­grat­u­la­tions on your award.

Dun­can Jac­ques CBE, Ruby Bhatti OBE, Chris Brown OBE and Wahida Shaffi MBE… just a few of the in­spir­ing teach­ers, in the broad­est sense, at work across the Brad­ford district and in 2019 and beyond.

Happy new year ev­ery­one.


TOP MARKS:The New Year’s Honours have sin­gled out a num­ber of peo­ple who are help­ing to shape our young through teach­ing.

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