There are some brilliant learning places in Leeds and I have visited West Oaks SILC many times over the years. The McEwan Quad is a fantastic addition to the school with a bright, safe surface with special effects when features are pressed by the children! The new quad has been named in memory of Hilary McEwan, the school's charismatic and extraordinary principal, who tragically died at the school in May 2006 while preparing for a visit from our friends from OFSTED. Hilary was principal of this brilliant special school from 1991 and, under his passionate and committed leadership, the school provided outstanding learning experiences for all its' children and young people and also supported mainstream school partners to promote the education of children with learning difficulties in mainstream settings.
It was wonderful to be able, with friends and family, to remember this very special man who touched so many peoples lives. Hilary was one of those rare colleagues you never forget; celtic supporter, strider, educationalist and a simply extraordinary human being! He worked tirelessly for young people with special needs to release their potential and magic. He also worked with the national College for School Leadership and the DCSF, as was, and was given a CBE in 2005 for services to children with special educational needs.