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Birmingham Post comment: An accolade to be proud of.

Birmingham headteacher Preet Sahota was last night named as Britain's first-ever Outstanding Public Servant of the Year.

Mr Sahota scooped the Government-backed award for saving troubled West Heath Junior School from closure.

The honour marked his achievement at overturning the school's history of falling pupil numbers, dilapidated buildings and overspent budget. The head also picked up the Turn-Round Manager Award and Education Award for successfully tackling the inherent blame culture at the school, fostering team spirit and improving professional standards.

Not only should Mr Sahota be proud of his accolade, his pupils and their parents should also be grateful for his sterling efforts in raising the educational and pastoral standards at West Heath.

Too often people who really make a difference at grass-roots level never have their accomplishments publicly recognised. They get overlooked in favour of those who blow their own trumpets or enjoy a high profile.

In all probability, Mr Sahota quietly and diligently went about the work that needed to be done without giving so much as a thought to winning praise for his travails.

And that's what makes his award particularly satisfying: he has made a real difference to ordinary people's lives. Both this and future generations of West Heath junior schoolchildren will have much for which to thank him.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 16, 2001
Words:213
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