Office of Deputy Prime Minister
I am delighted to have this opportunity to send a message of support for the Naz Legacy Foundation and the Naz Bokhari Award.
For us to thrive, as an economy and a society, every child must have the chance to reach their full potential, regardless their background.
In his role as the first Muslim head teacher of a secondary school, Naz Bokhari demonstrated year on year that with the right support and encouragement, there is no limited to what a child can achieve. He recognised the importance of supporting and developing his staff. He also understood that there is no contradiction between an unflinching commitment to high standards and a determination to narrow attainment gaps between pupils from different cultures and backgrounds.
We are fortunate in this country to have a great many dedicated and inspirational leaders, like Naz Bokhari. We have the best generation of young teachers entering the classroom now and many young people who are ambitious for their futures are doing well, but we should never stop asking ourselves what more we can do to support them.
That is why we are working to attract and train more highly talented individuals who can go on to deliver excellence in schools. We are refocusing the National Curriculum to ensure that all pupils can achieve in a range of vital academic subjects. We are also developing an accountability framework in which expectations are the same for all pupils and attainment gaps are rapidly reduced.
Ultimately, it is teachers and school leaders, not civil servants or politicians, who know best how to deliver excellence in education and instill in young people the essential life skills of resilience and perseverance. Between them, the Naz Legacy Foundation and the Naz Award for achievement by an outstanding student, have a real part to play in addressing these twin themes, I wish them every success.