Inspirational teacher in line for award for work on free school - nominate someone online
AFTER a long day in a classroom, most teachers pack their bags and head for home – but that is not the case for Ziad Amjad.
When the business and ICT project leader leaves Noel-Baker School in Alvaston after lessons have finished, he drives across town to the new Al-Madinah free school in Friar Gate.
Ziad, who was the lead proposer for the city's first Islamic school, describes it as his "baby" and has now been nominated for a Community Champion award for his work.
The 34-year-old explained how he became involved in the school: "It all started in 2006 when we wanted to start a nursery at the Jamia Mosque. But, once all the paperwork and everything had gone through, the Coalition came in and came up with the 'free school' model.
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"So we went back to the drawing board and started with that plan instead."
A different proposal was created which became the Al-Madinah school.
Ziad said: "We wanted to have a school that catered for children from four to 16 and that is what we have now."
Ziad, who was born and raised in Normanton, attended St James' Junior School, then Derby Moor Community School and Wilmorton College before studying at the University of Derby.
After completing his degree, Ziad studied to become a teacher and he says this PGCE was inspired by his daughter Rabiah, 13, who has learning difficulties.
He said: "Shabia has sickle cell disease. She suffers from small stature and has the mental age of a three-year-old. It was her that inspired me as I wanted to start teaching to help her develop."
Planning for the new school took up hours of Ziad's time. He said: "It took such a long time. I would be doing 30 or 40-hour weeks at Noel-Baker and then another two or three hours in the evening.
"And I never have my phone on silent so if someone sends me an e-mail or calls then I will answer it!"
He says he could not do any of it without the help of his family. "My wife, Nargis, is incredible and so are my mother and father. I really could not do without their help and support."
Community leader Shahban Rehmat, who nominated Ziad for a Community Champions award, said: "He has a full-time job teaching and his dream is to make a difference with education and the commitment he has given this is proved by the opening of Al-Madinah.
"Ziad has always hidden away from limelight but he still works 16-hour days to ensure that the best is given for the pupils. He is an inspiration to all of us."
This year's Community Champions Awards, which have 14 categories, are organised by the Mayor's Office and sponsored by Derbyshire Building Society and Derby County Football Club.