KIRKLEES' first Asian head teacher wants more staff from ethnic minorities to push for promotion.
Mrs Bibi Laher, of Spring Grove Junior, Infant and Nursery School at Springwood in Huddersfield was appointed acting head last year.
She became the council's first female Asian deputy head on joining the school seven years ago.
Mother-of-three Mrs Laher taught in Liversedge and Batley before moving to Spring Grove in 1996.
Almost 80% of the 220 pupils at the Water Street school are Asian.
"It is an extremely multi- cultural school. We have got almost all nationalities," said Mrs Laher.
She added that it was important more people from ethnic minorities went into teaching.
"I hope it will be a new beginning, for other people to follow me on.
"When I came to Kirklees there were not many Asian teachers. When I became the first female Asian deputy that was quite exciting and I thought more would follow.
"But it really didn't happen."
She said youngsters empathised strongly with teachers and used them as an example.
"For all the pupils you act as a role model. You show them you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and work hard enough for it."
Term started this month and Mrs Laher has been busy getting to know the new starters.
She said of teaching as a career: "It's very rewarding - but it's very hard work!
"Working with primary school children is delightful. When they get something right their faces light up.
"I think teachers stay in it for that reward."
Her job involves a mix of classroom work and managerial duties.
"I do try to get into classes and I keep in touch with the children. I go in so they know who I am and build a relationship with them," said Mrs Laher.
"I don't want to be someone they just see as a head in an office."
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