Mr Williams wins Top Award in Teaching OscarsJanet Burrows
Over the past few weeks a small group of staff have been having whispered conversations, holding closed door meetings and sending highly confidential emails, all to ensure that Mr Williams had no idea, when he joined The One Show live on BBC One on Wednesday evening, whether that was as the overall winner or a runner-up.
So when Alex Jones revealed, through a series of clues, who the winner of the Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School was, the look of shock on Mr Williams’ face was completely genuine. As was his delight (as a huge rugby fan and Wales supporter) at being congratulated by Sam Warburton, former Wales Rugby Union captain.
It was in September when Mr Williams first found out he was a silver award winner and finalist in the Pearson National Teaching Awards, but he has had to wait until now to find out whether or not he would win the highly coveted and prestigious gold award. The awards, which are in their 22nd year, recognise and celebrate excellence in education. However, the current pandemic has meant the team behind the National Teaching Awards have had to find new ways of celebrating the winners in all 14 categories. This year was the very first time therefore that all the awards have been televised on The One Show.
Speaking after his win Mr Williams said, “The award is a huge surprise and a massive honour. The process, realising how many people within and connected to our school community have supported my nomination, is very humbling indeed. I want to say thank you to all who have helped me along the way; thank you to the whole staff team – this is a very significant tribute to them; and a special thanks to my children and loved ones for tolerating and understanding the additional time I have devoted to trying to help the loved ones of others. I am lucky. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. It is a vocation that is so rewarding and refreshing, working with young people who have such energy and ideas, who constantly surprise and challenge you. There is genuinely never a dull moment! And finally, I want to thank the Pearson National Teaching Awards for these awards and the important recognition and boost that they give for the profession, for all working in education, especially in these very challenging times. Thank you!”
Mr Williams was nominated for the Award by the Senior Leadership Team for his innovation in introducing the Personal Development Activities on a Thursday evening as well as the iPad scheme which proved so invaluable during the lockdown. Rod Anson, Chair of Governors at School commented on the award, “We have seen first-hand Rob’s quiet yet determined development of a wonderful community with an excellent learning environment and also his rigorous implementation of innovative ideas such as the weekly Personal Development Activities and iPads for all scheme that help to open up new horizons. These activities and the many partnerships he establishes succeed in ensuring every student in this rural North Yorkshire area can take full advantage of a breadth of opportunities and be well equipped to thrive in and contribute to this fast changing world. The culture of being the best you can be, while looking after each other, permeates throughout the school with Rob, students, staff and governors encouraging and inspiring each other to strive for excellence.”
The sheer volume of messages sending good wishes to Mr Williams and expressing support of and encouragement for all that he has achieved in his 14 years in school have been humbling. As a wider school community of students, parents, governors and staff, we all feel very proud to be part of this incredible success story.
Very many congratulations Mr Williams!