York High leader wins ‘Outstanding Headteacher’ award

Rod Sims, Headteacher at York High School, has been recognised for his ‘outstanding contribution as a Head Teacher within an education establishment in the North of England during 2023/2024’ at the Educate North Awards last week.

Mr Sims clinched the award due to the profound impact of his leadership and unwavering commitment, which has significantly benefited students, staff, and the community at large.

Emily Callan, Geography teacher and Careers Lead at York High School, nominated Mr Sims for the award. Within her nomination, Emily told the judges that Rod had taken York High School from an Ofsted Grade of Inadequate to an Ofsted Grade of Good, all whilst dealing with an arthritic ankle operation and a cancer diagnosis.

In her nomination, Emily continued “Rod’s positivity, determination, and passion for the pupils in our community is incredible and from the heart. He’s not only the centre of our school, but a well-respected member of our community, opening up a local food hub, and ensuring we have a continuing free breakfast club open to all in the morning. He’s a beacon of positivity. Sadly for education and York High School, he retires this year.”

Hearing of the award, Emily said “Nominating Rod felt like the right thing to do to recognise and celebrate his career. I am so pleased that he won, especially as the announcement comes in his last term as Headteacher here.

“I nominated him for the award as he truly is a man of the community and even with injury and illness, he has been at the heart of everything we do at York High School. His resilience and determination are admirable qualities to aspire to. He’s such a big personality and his retirement will be a huge loss to our school and community.”

The Educate North Awards celebrate, recognise and share best practice and excellence in the education sector in the North of England. The ‘Outstanding Headteacher’ was one of three Radio Awards organised by CCUK, the owners of Smooth North-West, Smooth North-East and Heart Yorkshire, who supported the awards. Dixie and Emma, the dynamic duo from Heart Yorkshire’s drivetime show, revealed the prestigious award to a shocked Mr Sims through a surprise video link just days before the awards ceremony.

Mr Sims said “I feel quite humbled by this award. I do my job because I love my school, our pupils and our community. It’s never been about recognition for me, it’s simply been about trying to give our young people the very best opportunities and the chance to succeed, regardless of their background or ability. It is, however, lovely to receive this award on behalf of our community!”

This year’s awards culminated in a gala dinner and celebration in Manchester on Thursday 18 April. At the event, Mr Sims was presented with a trophy by sponsors Heart Radio Yorkshire and celebrated with the other nominees, guests, judges and winners of the other Educate North Awards award categories.

24 April 2024

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