Rizwana is heading for a national award

Rizwana Mahood.
Rizwana Mahood.

A headteacher who has helped break down barriers and stereotypes in the community is in the running for a national award.

Rizwana Mahmood, head of Carlton Junior and Infant School in Dewsbury, has been shortlisted for Head Teacher of the Year by the National Centre for Diversity.

Her award nomination comes after just two years in the job.

She said: “It’s a privilege to be shortlisted for Head Teacher of the Year.

“I was surprised and delighted, especially as this is only my second year in headship, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the great support of staff, governors, families, the local authority and the community.

“We celebrate diversity and ensure equality at all levels.

“We have a supportive and caring environment where each child can develop their confidence and realise the endless opportunities of being a citizen of the 21st century.”

Teachers at the school have been teaching British values, developing high levels of community engagement and promoting diversity.

Amir Afzal, chair of governors at the Upper Road school, said: “Rizwana has made a tremendous impact since taking over as head teacher.

“As well as having a clear focus on teaching and learning, she has introduced a wide range of measures to ensure our school is even more at the heart of our community.

“We are breaking down barriers and stereotypes, broadening the children’s horizons and inspiring them to fulfil their potential.

“Equality and inclusion are absolutely central to the school’s ethos.

“We are incredibly proud of this important work and it’s an amazing honour for Carlton Junior and Infant School to be represented on the award shortlist.”

The school has more than 200 pupils aged between four and 11. It was rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted following an inspection last March.