Top award for turnaround teacher

AN IPSWICH teacher who inspired young truants to go back to school is up for a national award.Mal Ahklak has worked at Holywells High School for four years, helping to develop pupils' confidence, motivation and skills, and is now up for the Leadership Award at The Prince's Trust and RBS Celebrate Success national final.

AN IPSWICH teacher who inspired young truants to go back to school is up for a national award.

Mal Ahklak has worked at Holywells High School for four years, helping to develop pupils' confidence, motivation and skills, and is now up for the Leadership Award at The Prince's Trust and RBS Celebrate Success national final.

The awards are part of an initiative between youth charity The Prince's Trust and The Royal Bank of Scotland to recognise the outstanding achievements of disadvantaged young people across the UK.

Mr Ahklak has tutored pupils on The Prince's Trust xl programme, who face educational difficulties and social problems, to help turn their lives around.


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Through various ideas, such as visits to the Crown Court in Ipswich to a six-week community project with the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, he has managed to gain the interest of young people, who often truanted.

Nassir Uddin, a 17-year-old student at Holywells, turned his life around after signing up to the Princes Trust course. In December he was named East of England educational achiever of the year and Mr Ahklak won the Blythe Valley Leadership award at the event in Peterborough.

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The teenager had been getting into a lot of trouble at school, but the courses provided him with a new direction, and he went on to become a school prefect. He will be accompanying Mr Ahklak to the final in London.

Mr Ahklak said: “It's fantastic to get through to the finals. I've seen the difference the xl programme makes to disadvantaged young people and it's incredibly rewarding. I'm just glad to be recognised for doing something that I enjoy so much.”

Having beaten off strong competition to win the regional final before Christmas, Mr Ahklak went up against 11 other regional winners from across the country for a place in the final. He is now one of just three individuals up for the national Leadership Award.

The final takes place on Tuesday, March 18, at the Leicester Square Odeon Cinema in London.

Do you know someone receiving a special award? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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