College principal shortlisted for Leadership & Innovation Award

Birkenhead Sixth Form College Principal, Mike Kilbride, has been shortlisted for an award to recognise his leadership in making the College the outstanding choice for post-GCSE education in the region.

Educate North Awards is a prestigious awarding body in the education sector, and Mike’s shortlisting for the Leadership & Innovation Award celebrates his guidance during a journey in which the College has won multiple national and regional awards.

This comes hand-in-hand with acknowledging his commitment to an evidence-based approach: leading the path towards independent thinking, and inspirational and aspirational teaching.

The shortlisting is the first in 2024 for the College, after a hattrick of award wins last year, including for College of the Year and Most Inspirational Sixth Form.

Awards in education are some that few are honoured with, so the shortlisting for Mike and the recognition of his approach for young people to learn is one that is deserved and endorsed by those that work with him.

Vice Principal at the College, Paula Blakemore, said, “Mike’s time as Principal here has redefined the College, both for staff and students. His unwavering belief in the science of learning and the undisputable evidence of fact rather than fads has raised ambition in every student that has chosen the College as their destination after Year 11.”

Paula continued, “He has stamped his signature on the way that we teach, with an in-house style that focuses on teachers directing learning but allowing each individual to be just that – an individual. Teachers can be themselves but also have freedom in their classrooms. It’s Mike’s vision that has enabled this and inspired so many staff and students.”

Principal, Mike Kilbride, said of the award shortlisting, “It may sound cliché, but as a leader, you simply cannot make things work without those surrounding you. The staff here are magnanimous in their approach, always delivering the best for the students whom they serve so well. The young people of this entire region are better off for their endeavour and their relentless pursuit of the best possible education.”

Mike concluded, “Being honoured with this shortlisting is gratifying, to say the least, but it also speaks volumes about not doing things for the sake of it. We constantly analyse what we do, always improve, always do the right thing. Convention is one thing; acting upon the evidence is another. We have a whole-College attitude and ethos, and values that run through our core. This is a celebration for everyone, staff and students.”

Image: BSFC Principal, Mike Kilbride

Why not follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Threads? You can also send story ideas or letters to the editor to