GARETH Dawkins, the late principal of Bradford Academy, was named winner of the Leadership Award.

In the most emotional part of the awards evening, his two sons, Jonathan and Matthew, accepted the award on his behalf alongside current principal of the school Tehmina Hashmi and colleagues of Mr Dawkins.

Mr Dawkins had led Bradford Academy since it opened in 2007 and during his teaching career in the district he had also been executive principal of University Academy Keighley.

He was also deputy head at the old Greenhead School in Keighley for five years until 1999.

He died in October after suffering two heart attacks while on holiday. His death was followed by tributes from across the Bradford education community.

A memorial service held at Bradford Cathedral a few weeks later attracted hundreds of mourners.

The award announcement was preceded by a video featuring photos of Mr Dawkins’ life, and tributes from colleagues.

On stage, his sons told the audience of their pride that their father had been recognised with the award. Jonathan said: “We’re very proud he made a difference in people’s lives. It is great to be here and that 30 years of service, and what he gave to Bradford, has been acknowledged.”

After accepting the award, he told the T&A: “We’re amazed by this. If he were here he would have been really chuffed. He worked in the area for so long, so this would have been really special to him.”

Matthew added: “This award is going to go in the school. There is a massive sense of pride that he got this.”

The Award was sponsored by Schofield Sweeney.

l Honorary mentions:

Anne-Marie Merifield, St Edmund’s Nursery School and Lilycroft Nursery

Duncan Jacques, Horton Grange, Copthorne, Horton Park Primaries and Canterbury Nursery