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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 October 2005, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Head teacher is top of the class
Richard Wallis
Richard Wallis at the teaching 'Oscars' ceremony in London
A Kent teacher has been named Secondary School Head Teacher of the Year.

Richard Wallis, of Sandwich Technology School in Sandwich, scooped the award at the Teaching Awards in London, his profession's version of the "Oscars".

He was described as "a visionary leader and a born enthusiast" by the awards panel on Sunday evening.

Mr Wallis has been at the school for eight years and has overseen some major projects including a performing arts centre and a mini Eden project.

'Empowers others'

As well as the biotechnology lab, a design and technology unit has also been added to the school which was officially opened by Boy George.

Mr Wallis was identified as "outstanding" by Ofsted inspectors in the school's recent report and the teaching awards panel agreed.

It said: "Richard is a visionary leader, one who takes everyone along with him, leading from the front yet empowering others.

"To label him a born enthusiast would be an understatement. His personal energy levels are immense, and he demands the same from his staff, always achieving that level of commitment."

Another accolade for a teacher in the South East went to Belinda William from Stoughton Infant School in Guildford. She won The Healthy School Award in the primary category.

Education secretary Ruth Kelly congratulated all 10 national winners who were picked from 142 local winners from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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