Northern Education Trust

Outcomes Focused, Child Centred

NET Principal Wins TES Headteacher of the Year Award 2014

7th Jul 2014

NET Principal Wins TES Headteacher of the Year Award 2014

Jayne Clarke, Ryecroft Primary Academy, Bradford, won the Headteacher of the Year Award at the annual TES Schools? Awards on Friday, 4th July.

Jayne Clarke has been praised by Ofsted for her ?relentless and courageous leadership? as Headteacher of Ryecroft Primary Academy. And that just about says it all.

Ryecroft Primary Academy converted to an academy in September 2012, sponsored by the Northern Education Trust. Based in North East England, it is a not for profit charitable trust which currently sponsors 15 academies throughout the North East and North West of England.

Ryecroft is now one of the most improved schools in the country, and turning it around has been an exceptional achievement, driven largely by a Headteacher with a mission.

Clarke took over Ryecroft six years ago, when it was experiencing its 10th year in special measures and the local authority had written it off as ?beyond crisis?.

To say the challenge was a daunting one would be an understatement. The school draws from one of the poorest catchments in the country, with 90 per cent of students requiring external support and 80 per cent eligible for free school meals. For many children, school lunch is their only proper meal.

Yet, from this starting point, the school has made startling progress. Its maths and reading SATS results are now within the top 20 per cent nationally; all students achieve two levels of progress; and 100 per cent of girls and 89 per cent of boys reach level 4 at key stage 2, exceeding national averages.

But numbers don?t tell the whole story. As the co-chairs of the governing body say: ?Jayne?s transformation of her school and its community cannot be told in raw data. This would be to diminish the breadth, depth and ambition of the impact of her work.?

Roger Alston, chief executive of the Northern Education Trust, commented: ?We are absolutely thrilled that Jayne?s passion and determination have been duly noted, not only by one of the most acclaimed education publications, but by other independent education experts. It is very well deserved and we wholeheartedly congratulate her on her achievement.?

Jayne Clarke?s victory was witnessed by over 600 people gathered to celebrate the sector?s achievements at the awards ceremony held at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, on Friday 4 July.

Other awards at the prestigious event, hosted by Hugh Dennis, included prizes for the Special Needs School of the Year, Secondary School of the Year and Primary School of the Year.

Now in their sixth year, the TES Schools Awards aim to celebrate and reward the extraordinary innovation, dedication and hard work of those schools, individuals and teams who every day are making a real difference to the lives of future generations.

For more coverage of the awards, full lists of winners, and photos from the event, please visit or pick up a copy of TES, available in newsagents from 11 July.