A DARLINGTON headteacher is in the running for an award for his leadership skills.

Eamonn Farrar, headteacher of Hurworth Comprehensive, has been shortlisted for a BT Teaching Award in the leadership category.

Teaching experts were at the school this week to assess his qualities ahead of the regional award ceremony in June.

Mr Farrar said he was flattered to be nominated and said: "I've made a big difference at the school in the time I've been here, but I'd like the credit to be spread a little more evenly.

"This is a top ranking school, but you have to have understanding and committed teachers, pupils and parents to share the vision. If you've got everybody in the community working together you can't go wrong. Success breeds success and we've just got better and better faster and faster."

Hurworth regularly comes near the top of regional and national league tables, but Mr Farrar is not resting on his laurels.

He said: "It's my ambition for the school to provide the finest education for 11 to 16-year-olds anywhere in the country."

Mr Farrar also praised maths teacher Mildred Howell, who is in the final four in the region in the Teaching Awards. He said: "She's at the back end of her career but she has the enthusiasm and commitment of a fresh starter every single day and in every single lesson.

"She's a high quality teacher, she works her socks off, she's got a very special personality and cares about the children.

"She really does stand a very good chance of winning because I'll be stunned if there's a better teacher anywhere."