New head’s mission to put school at the top

New head teacher at Rastrick High School, Steve Evans, pictured with Chloe Kerry, Makai Hibbert, Saskia Williams and Bailie Horsley
New head teacher at Rastrick High School, Steve Evans, pictured with Chloe Kerry, Makai Hibbert, Saskia Williams and Bailie Horsley

Mr Steve Evans, the new head at Rastrick High School, moved to West Yorkshire as a student, fell in love with the area and has stayed put.

He feels the area has a lot in common with the South Wales valleys where he grew up and is happy to put down roots here.

“My wife, Rachel, is from Doncaster, I went to university in Leeds and I just love it here,” said Mr Evans who took over the helm at Rastrick High this term, succeeding long-standing headteacher Mrs Helen Lennie.

“For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a teacher and one of my own teachers, Mr Lloyd, was very encouraging to me. I had a variety of student jobs - I’ve worked as a shop-fitter and a roofer - and there are a few builders in my family.

“I’ve done my turn on building sites on cold November mornings and I think that was important because it made me realise how hard I had to work to achieve my ambition to teach.”

Mr Evans, 40, taught design and technology at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School from 1996 to 2000 and was senior vice principal at Trinity Academy in Halifax before making the move to Rastrick High.

He grew up in Merthyr Tydfil and went to college in Pontypridd. His first leadership role was at Grange Technology College in Bradford.

Mr Evans aim is make Rastrick High ‘the highest attaining school in Calderdale’. The school has around 1,500 pupils and more than 200 members of staff.

“I know the school has a special place in the community and there are some lovely young people here,” he said.

“As a comprehensive school our pupils are in competition with everyone else in the country. I want to ensure that they have the skills they need to enable them to compete and be at the front of the queue.

“It’s a big job and there are obvious pressures but my aim, as I told the pupils in my first assembly, is to improve the life chances of every student in the school.”

Akeen fan of rugby league and union, Mr Evans relaxes by spending time with his family and taking his young daughter Cerys for walks in the park. “My relaxation is running round the park and feeding the ducks!” he said.