A KEIGHLEY headteacher has paid tribute to his team after receiving an award.

Jon Skurr – of University Academy Keighley (UAK) – was named Headteacher of the Year in the Education Awards, run by Keighley News sister title the Telegraph & Argus.

He was brought in as head at UAK two years ago to spearhead improvement to the academy.

And just eight months later the school received its first-ever ‘good’ Ofsted rating, plus it has seen a 15 per cent increase in student numbers.

“We have developed a culture which is based on honesty and transparency,” said Mr Skurr.

“I was very fortunate at the start when I got to bring a new leadership team into the academy and appoint new practitioners who would bring about this massive improvement in school performance over a fairly short period of time.”

He says the award is testament to the work of an “amazing” group of staff.

“It feels surreal and a bit strange because you are taking awards really on behalf of a fantastic team,” said Mr Skurr.

“It is just nice for the school to be recognised. In the past, the school has not been in the spotlight for the right reasons – it is great to change that and the future of so many of our young people.

“I have never come across a school with such a negative legacy in the past so to change those viewpoints and show people how wonderful our academy is, it makes me proud.

“It is a nice reflection to get this award for our achievements over the last year or so.”

He added: “We have high standards and expectations. It is about establishing a culture where the students feel comfortable to learn.

“We genuinely have an amazing group of staff who work so hard for our young people.

“Your job as a head in a secondary school is to give the team what it needs to improve and develop and support staff to do that.

“Most of my team are way more talented than me, I just have to hold on to their coat-tails and keep up with their development.

“During the pandemic we have prioritised looking out for the wellbeing of everyone. If people feel safe and secure, they can achieve huge things.

“We have still made great progress during these challenging times. We have aspirations of making this school something special.”