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About Consilium

Consilium Academies is a multi-academy Trust working across the North of England. It has nine academy schools located in Yorkshire, the North West, and the North East. Consilium is dedicated to enriching lives and inspiring ambitions for both students and colleagues.

Our headteacher, Mr Robert Bell, 'overwhelmed' after receiving prestigious national award for work with special needs children

Our dedicated headteacher Robert Bell said he felt “overwhelmed” after being presented with a national award by the city’s deputy mayor, Cllr Ehthesham Haque on what was ‘Thank a Teacher Day’ (Wednesday June 19).

He was presented with the prestigious Silver Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education from the Pearson National Teaching Awards after being “selected from thousands of nominees”.

Mr Bell, who has been headteacher at Consilium Evolve for the last three years, thought he was presenting an assembly to thank other staff at the school for their efforts but began to realise there was “a hidden agenda” when an array of dignitaries started to arrive.

He said: “I was getting ready to do my assembly when I saw lots of parents arrive and then the CEO of Consilium Academies, chair of trustees and the head of Together for children also appeared.

“Next to arrive was the deputy mayor. It was all a bit of a shock to see everyone turn-up and I realised there was a hidden agenda.

Headteacher Robert Bell receives the award from the city's deputy mayor Councillor Ehthesham Haque.

“It was a bit overwhelming to be presented with the award but this award is not just for me, it’s about everyone in the school community who are involved in this process. “It’s a massive privilege to be at Consilium Evolve and I’m really proud to be part of this school.”

After starting out as a PE teacher Rob moved into special educational needs and alternative provision in 2016.

He said: “I just thought that this was an area in which you can really make a big difference to a child and add value to their life and help to get them back on course.”

Consilium Evolve provides alternative education for children struggling to access or cope with mainstream schooling, with many of the youngsters “experiencing emotionally based school avoidance”.

Led by Mr Bell, the school is at the forefront of research into how children interpret and access information through sound and vision. 

The school conducts processing assessments for all students to identify and address challenges that may impact their understanding and engagement with the curriculum. 

This individualised approach, designed by Mr Bell, has led to a remarkable increase in student attendance, from an average of 18% before joining the school to 82% afterward.

Mr Bell said: “There are so many different dimensions to turning around the course of a child’s education but firstly they need to feel psychologically safe in order to feel comfortable to open up.

“It’s also important to listen to the children and for them to learn emotionally as well as curriculum content. I’ve also got an amazing team of staff who were recruited for their expertise in working with children with SEND.”

Mr Bell is one of a select group of 102 teachers, lecturers, leaders, support staff and institutions named as silver winners in this year’s awards.

CEO of Consilium Academies Michael McCarthy was at the celebratory assembly.

He said: “It is incredibly fitting to see Mr Bell receive this prestigious award on national Thank a Teacher Day. His dedication to understanding and addressing the needs of our students has quite simply transformed lives. We are immensely proud of his achievements and the positive impact he has made on our community.”

The announcement comes as celebrities, students and schools across the UK paid tribute to all those who work in education to mark National Thank a Teacher Day, which celebrates the whole education community and shines a light on the impact they have on shaping young lives. 

National Thank a Teacher Day and the Pearson National Teaching Awards are run by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity established over 25 years ago to celebrate the transformative impact of education, shining a spotlight on the pivotal roles teachers, support staff, colleges, schools and early years educators play in inspiring young people.

Michael Morpurgo, author, former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “The work and devotion of all of those who play a role in educating young people is phenomenal. Not only do they play a vital role in shaping minds inside the classroom, often they continue to encourage, support, motivate and inspire beyond.

“That’s why it is important for us to take a moment on this National Thank a Teacher Day to recognise their efforts. 

“I am also thrilled to be able to congratulate this year’s Silver Award winners and recognise the amazing contributions and commitment they have shown is shaping the lives of the next generation - thank you!”

Robert Bell with pupils Charlie and Sophia.