New Year’s OBE for headteacher

Roundhay School headteacher Neil Clephan, from Batley, has been awared the OBE.
Roundhay School headteacher Neil Clephan, from Batley, has been awared the OBE.

A headteacher from Batley has been awarded the OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Neil Clephan, who lives in Howden Clough, has been the head at Roundhay School in Leeds for nearly 20 years and lived in Batley for 28 years.

He will receive the honour for working with and helping to improve other schools, as well as reviewing the best use of government funds to help disadvantaged pupils.

He said: “I’m overwhelmed. You see that word used and I didn’t really understand it until now.”

Mr Clephan said he was grateful for all the hard work from parents, staff and the community, as well as from his wife and son, Tracy and Alistair.

“I’m delighted my family have enjoyed it as they have made a lot sacrifices,”

A lot of Mr Clephan’s work involves working with schools having difficulties to establish the best ways to improve matters.

“It’s not some underpants over the trousers Superman act – it’s collaborative work about learning and learning from,” he said.

Originally from Bath, Mr Clephan moved to North Kirklees at the beginning of his career and has worked exclusively in West Yorkshire.

His former schools include Woodkirk in Morley, Tong in Bradford and Lawnswood in Leeds.

Huddersfield Town AFC supporter Mr Clephan remained in Batley throughout the years and said the location, diversity of countryside of the town were important aspects of his decision to stay.

Leeds North East, where the school is based.

MP Fabian Hamilton said: “Most of its students do not come from a privileged background and the diversity is huge, yet Neil has achieved a cohesion and strong sense of purpose.”