STRONG leadership is one of the cornerstones of a good secondary school head teacher. With increasing demands and diminishing resources, encouraging and enthusing pupils and staff are needed on a daily basis.

The head teacher sets the tone for the school providing a role model for pupils and staff which benefits the entire community.

Being a good secondary school head teacher isn’t all about achieving excellent exam results – although it certainly helps – but it’s about inspiring pupils to work to their utmost ability and motivating staff to provide the best educational experience possible.

It’s about nurturing talent, equipping pupils for the modern world and managing a happy and committed workforce. We want to hear your nominations for head teachers who create a buzz, whose enthusiasm is infectious and the whole school benefits from it. Successful heads are those who feel part of the local community and actively contribute to it.

Last year’s winner was the outstanding Richard Varey, of Blessed Trinity RC College, Burnley.

The judges decided his leadership had been so outstanding – he and his team had seen the school removed from special measures to be rated ‘good’ by OFSTED and had just had its best ever GCSE results – they gave him the award for a second time.

He first received it in 2014 - two years after taking over at the school.

It’s that sort of leadership and commitment we want to celebrate again in 2017. So if you’re a pupil, parent or governor at a school where you routinely see the head teacher going above and beyond their duties, we want to hear from you.

We can’t wait to find out more about the outstanding secondary school head teachers in Pennine Lancashire. Richard Varey has set an extremely high benchmark and as these categories are judged by an independent panel we can’t rule out a hat-trick for him!

Nomination forms can be downloaded from