Inspirational individuals recognised for their hard work in Bristol’s schools

Fifteen headteachers, governors and education leaders have been recognised for their dedication and commitment to young people in Bristol at an event held at the Mansion House in Clifton this week.

The individuals have all done something remarkable during their careers in education and come from a range of different backgrounds, from the city’s children’s centres through to secondary schools and colleges.

Six of those who attended are retiring, having collectively spent decades serving Bristol’s young people and helping to improve their life chances. Those retiring are; Mary-Jane Hinchcliffe, headteacher at St Anne’s Infant School, Catherine Hughes, headteacher at St Bede’s Catholic College, Dr Helen Holman, headteacher at Orchard School, Stella Sage, executive headteacher at Waycroft Multi Academy Trust, Duncan Cruickshank, Principal at Begbrook Primary Academy, and Susan Tyte, headteacher from Chester Park Infant School.

Lord Mayor Cllr Lesley Alexander presented the awards. She said:

“Having strong leaders in our schools is essential if we are to give young people the best possible start in life. This event is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who have gone above and beyond.”

Others who received awards included Claire Banks, headteacher from St Werburgh’s who is leaving to take up a new role outside of Bristol and Martyn Harris, chair of governors, from Perry Court Primary who is stepping down after 10 years in post.

Gary Schlick, headteacher at Bedminster Down School was awarded for his role in the development of the Bristol Inclusion Panel, which is helping to reduce the number of pupils who are permanently excluded from schools across the city. Aileen Morris, headteacher at St Mathias Park, was recognised for her work to create extra places for pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, whilst the work of City of Bristol College was praised for their dedication to the Learning City Partnership work and tireless work to raise the aspirations of students with high needs. Lil Bowers, centre manager at Southern Links Children’s Centre was also recognised for her commitment to developing strong, accessible children’s centre services in South Bristol.

Paul Jacobs, Bristol City Council’s service director for education and skills, is retiring in September. He was also commended for his commitment, having worked for 35 years in education.

Councillor Claire Hiscott, Cabinet Member of Education, said:

“This event is an important point in the city’s education calendar and it’s a chance to take the time to recognise those who work tirelessly to improve education in Bristol. Our schools have improved drastically in the past decade and as a Learning City many different organisations are now working together to improve learning opportunities. This is just a snapshot of the positive work taking place and there are many inspiring individuals working in our schools, for which we are very thankful.”

Photo from top left: Stella Sage, Duncan Cruickshank, Catherine Hughes, Susan Tyte, Martyn Harris , Inger O’Callaghan, Mary-Jane Hinchliffe, Helen Holman , Aileen Morrison, Sarah Baker, Claire Banks, Gary Schlick, Lord Mayor, Cliff Shaw, Lil Bowers, Paul Jacobs.