A class act: Oldham Head teacher is recognised as a high school hero


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HEAD OF THE YEAR: Hardial Hayer was named ‘Secondary Head of the Year’ in the Pearson Teaching Awards

HEAD OF THE YEAR: Hardial Hayer was named ‘Secondary Head of the Year’ in the Pearson Teaching Awards

An inspirational head teacher from Manchester has been recognised as exceptional in his field after being named the best in the country.  

Father-of-three, Hardial Hayer, 56, 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, which enjoyed outstanding GCSE results this year.

The presentation was made at London’s Guildhall by comedian and actor, Hugh Dennis, and was broadcast on BBC2’s  programme ‘Britain’s Classroom Heroes’, which aired last Sunday at 6pm.

Mr Hayer said: “My colleagues and family were down at the Guildhall. I’d won the Silver Award back in June of this year and that’s why I’d been shortlisted.

“I had no idea I was going to win. It’s a nice surprise and it’s a great accolade for Radclyffe School and the team we have here. We have been on a journey here for many years and the award is recognition of the work that everybody has been doing.”

Mr Hayer, from Huddersfield, has been a head teacher for 21 years – a job which he says he has ‘always enjoyed’.

He gained a degree in modern history at Manchester University before completing his teaching qualifications at Birmingham University.

His first post was at a school in Essex where he taught history, before he moved back north to become head of history at a school in Stockport.

At the age of 35 he was given his first headship role at Oldbury in the Midlands, before he became head at Radclyffe School 19 years ago.

The award winning educator added: “I don’t think there’s a secret formula to being a good teacher. You have to be committed, driven and put students at the centre of everything you do.

“You have to work hard. It’s not a nine-to-five job; it’s all encompassing so I never have a finish time. You never have a weekend where you’re not doing some sort of work but if you love it, and you believe in it, there’s not a better job.

“It’s a way of transforming students’ lives, giving them better opportunities and better life chances. There’s a lot of satisfaction from that.

“Teachers see them grow, develop and progress in their future careers. We have belief in our students and we have a mantra at our school about ‘I can do’.

“We don’t want our students to think they can’t do something. We say ‘you can’t do something...yet’. We work together for excellence and that is echoed everywhere around the school.”

Throughout the past two decades Mr Hayer has been instrumental at the helm of the school, introducing a number of innovations to help 11 to 16-year-olds flourish.

His latest award recognises the work he continues to put in, day-after-day.

A spokesperson from The Pearson Teaching Awards said: “Hardial Hayer has achieved something very rare, even in the community of outstanding headteachers.  

“He has shown a total commitment to his pupils, his staff and his local community, and with that a passion to deliver excellent outcomes in the same place for 20 years.

“Throughout his career he has been driven to educate the whole child and this was acknowledged by Ofsted in 2015: ‘The Headteacher’s ambition for every child to fulfil their potential and go on to take a rewarding role in British society is adopted by all staff and every pupil’.

“Hardial’s outstanding leadership has been embraced by all resulting in a community that is ambitious and aspirational. His limitless enthusiasm and intuitive moral purpose inspires each and every member of staff and student to achieve their personal excellence.

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