A headteacher living in Huddersfield has been hailed a classroom hero.
Hardial Hayer, 56, who lives at Bradley and was educated in the town, was named Secondary Head of the Year in the Pearson Teaching Awards for his inspirational leadership of the 1,500-pupil Radclyffe School in Oldham.
The presentation was made at London’s Guildhall by actor and comedian Hugh Dennis. The awards ceremony will be shown in the TV programme Britain’s Classroom Heroes at 6pm on Sunday on BBC2.
Mr Hayer has led the school for 19 years during which time he and his team have introduced a number of innovations to help the school’s 11 to 16-year-olds flourish.
They include “Experience Days” in which every year group visits a venue they might otherwise never experience, such as trips to the theatre or the zoo.
Only half of the school’s 200-strong staff are teachers. To free up teachers’ time to teach, the school employs year managers instead of year heads to handle non-teaching issues. Non-teaching staff also act as “personal learning guides” and spend 10 minutes a day with individual pupils to see how they are progressing and address any issues they may have.
Mr Hayer was brought up in Huddersfield and attended Reinwood Junior School and Royds Hall Secondary School at Paddock before taking his O-levels at Greenhead College and A-levels at Huddersfield New College. He gained a degree in modern history at Manchester University before completing his teaching qualifications at Birmingham University.
A history teacher, his first post was at a school in Essex before he moved back north to become head of history at a school in Stockport. His first headship – at the age of 35 – was at Oldbury in the Midlands before he became head at Radclyffe School 19 years ago.
The father of three said the award was recognition for the whole team at the school. “The key thing is to raise the aspirations of students,” he said. “It is more than just a job for us – we have a moral purpose to improve the lives of these children.”