The 2020 Pearson National Teaching Awards are open!

  • Click here to see the categories.
  • Entries close at midnight on 28th February 2020
  • All entries are shortlisted by our expert judging panel.
  • Judges shortlisting period: February-March 2020
  • Schools notified of finalists: March 2020
  • Judges visit schools: March – May 2020
  • All schools who have submitted a quality entry but have not been shortlisted by our judging panel will receive a certificate of excellence and a handwritten letter from our president Michael Morpurgo
  • Silver winners announced (Celebrations take place at schools and FE colleges across the country): June 2020
  • House of Commons Silver winners celebration tea: July 2020
  • Teaching Awards UK ceremony takes place in October 2020 and is televised on BBC2 one week later

The Teaching Awards were set up by Lord David Puttnam in 1998 to celebrate and recognise excellence in education, and continue to create a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of the great work being done in schools across the country.  They are free to enter, open to everyone with lots of categories to choose from.

We know from our awards nominees that just being entered – let alone winning – ensures that the teacher, their school and pupils, feel valued and recognised.  It is a hugely positive experience for all involved, and a great PR opportunity for both the teacher, school and the profession!

How does the Thank a Teacher campaign link to the awards?  

  • Thank you messages can be sent my members of the public all year round
  • Each year we will contact the schools that have received a Thank a Teacher card to encourage them to take that nomination forward into an entry for the awards.
  • The cut off for the 2020 Awards year is 31st January 2020

The Judging Panel

Rod Bristow, CEO of Pearson UK and chairman of the judging panel

“The Pearson Teaching Awards gives us a unique opportunity to champion exceptional teaching professionals across the UK.”

“The judges work on a voluntary basis and judging is an independent and peer-led process. The majority of the panel members are practising teachers and many are Teaching Award winners. The panel also include representation from organisations across the educational spectrum. We are grateful to these dedicated professionals who give their time to ensure a smooth and credible process for those involved and to help celebrate the amazing people who work in our schools.”

Lorna Bradford
Lorna Bradford teaches Geography in Leeds, West Yorkshire. A previous winner of The Award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, Lorna has a keen eye for furthering progress of students through creative and innovative teaching methods. Promoted to Senior Leadership in 2015, Lorna now enjoys contributing to whole school Teaching and Learning development, especially working with newly and recently qualified teachers. In 2016, Lorna led her school to securing the World Class School Quality Mark, which recognises exceptional teaching. Judging for The Teaching Awards has been a natural progression for a true lover of teaching.

Sara Broadbent MBE
“In 2002 I won the National Teaching Award for Primary Teacher of the Year. I was invited to join the judging panel in 2003 and I proudly received an MBE for Services to Education in 2004. My teaching career has been focussed mainly in the Early Years and I have enjoyed the challenges of Senior Management and Local Authority Advisory work. I have a passion for Foundation Stage and Key Stage one practice; the excitement of working with enthusiastic little people has never faded. I have two young children who are both at Primary School. I am enjoying experiencing school life from a parent’s view!”

Romayne Charles
“I have been a teacher for 11 years and  am now subject leader of a Social Sciences and Modern Ethics faculty. I currently teach three subjects and enjoy the variety and excitement working as a teacher brings. I am passionate about developing whole school teaching and learning as well as improving the wellbeing of staff as this has a direct impact on students.  As a result of this I have been a union representative and am currently a school governor. I truly believe that teaching is the most rewarding career and feel privileged to get to work with young people.”

Sam Coy
Head of Benjamin Adlard Primary School, 2019 winner of Primary School of the Year – making a difference.

Sarah Dignasse
Sarah has 28 years experience in teaching with 13 of these as a secondary headteacher of a large comprehensive school.
She is currently working as a School Improvement Advisor within two local authority areas. She is a Professional Officer for a consortium of 8 Essex secondary schools working together to bring about school improvement, a 14-19 co-ordinator for a NW Essex consortium of schools focussing on Alternative Education and IAG, and also works as an External Advisor for Headteacher Performance Management and for Headteacher appointments.

Additionally Sarah is a member of an Interim Executive Board and is Director of a Multi-Academy Trust. She is Chair of Trustees of two Essex based charities: The David Randall Foundation and Families InFocus (Essex).

Michael Goves
Most importantly I am a science teacher, and have had the pleasure of teaching in both Independent and State sectors for 13 years. Seven of those have been judging at national level in the Pearson Teaching Awards. My experience spans outstanding, to requiring improvement education, to senior leadership level. In 2014 I was fortunate enough to be nominated the Top Overseas Teacher by the Ministry of Education, Singapore, and judge in the DfE’s Character Awards. My passion for pedagogy, professional development and grass root teacher education, led me to currently work as senior professional tutor with Ark’s Teacher Training program.

Michael Grant
Teaching is a passion of mine, as since the start of my career I have seen clearly the impact that it can make on the lives of young people. The ability to make a positive change to someone’s life cannot be underestimated. Whether this is through a conversation in the corridor, the persistent belief in their own abilities or a resource that allows them to access something that they have always struggled with, teachers have the power to enhance and empower young people in today’s society.

Tony Gray

Kevin Harcombe
2007 UK winner HT of Year. Currently in third headship, Chair of Hampshire’s Primary Standing Committee, and part-time advisor for Hants and IoW. I have spoken on leadership and school improvement at The TES Show (Olympia), The Education Show (NEC) and co-presented a talk on children and reading with Sue Palmer (author of Toxic Childhood) at The Sunday Times Festival of Education (Wellington College). I am the author of two books, Brilliant Primary Teacher (Pearson) and How To Survive and Succeed as a Headteacher (Findel). I have written for The Guardian, Independent and TES and today write a monthly column for Teach Primary Magazine.

Kathy Harwood
I am a HLTA Team Leader and I provide education and support for sick youngsters aged 4-19 years who are resident in hospital with a wide variety of medical conditions, ranging from broken bones and unexplained pain through to cancers, brain injuries and brain tumours. I have worked in the Hospital School for over 20 years and I still absolutely love my job, I feel very privileged to work with sick children and make an impact on their lives when they are at their most vulnerable. My mantra is ‘everything is education’-every child and young person has the potential to learn, our job is to ensure that we tailor learning to meet their needs. Besides my husband and two boys, my most favourite indulgences are shoes, shopping, reading and smiling- life is always better when you smile!

Samantha Hunt
Sam Hunt is the Deputy Headteacher at Sandhurst School. After winning the Secondary School Teacher of the Year Award for the South of England in 2001, her work in anti-racism and genocide education led her to win the Anne Frank Award for Inspirational Educator of the Year. She has also been recognised as a “Pride of Bracknell” and as a Sue Ryder Woman of Achievement. Holocaust and genocide education is her passion. Sam is on the advisory boards of a number of genocide-prevention organisations and has also worked extensively in Rwanda, leading initiatives to provide homes, income-generating activities and education for genocide orphans.

Peter Jenkins
“I retired early from Primary Education after a long career in schools in deprived areas. I spent the last 20 years as Deputy Headteacher and occasionally Acting Head in a large primary school in the city. After retirement I became Chair of Governors at the same school, leading it for 20 years up to federation status and then up to Academy status after which I retired.”

Mark Lambert

Jodie Lopez
Jodie worked as a teacher, ICT coordinator, Assessment Lead and Enrichment coordinator in primary schools in East and South East London. She won a number of awards, particularly for her use of technology across the curriculum and to support school staff and parents. Since leaving full time teaching to start a family, Jodie has been working in education technology and primary assessment. Jodie is delighted to continue to be a judge for the Teaching Awards as it never fails to inspire her and remind her of the amazing professionals we are lucky to have, in the UK, teaching and caring for our children.

Justin McNamara
Currently Senior Curriculum Manager at New City College’s Shoreditch campus for Hospitality & Catering / Performing Arts. Justin has been in education for the past twelve years, primarily as a lecturer but has also had roles in quality improvement and curriculum design. As part of the Catering & Hospitality Department, “Rouge Catering”, Justin won the Award for FE Team or Lecturer of the Year 2017.

Ross McGill
Ross Morrison McGill is @TeacherToolkit, the ‘most followed educator on Twitter in the UK’ and founder of one of the most popular education websites in the U.K. He is an award-winning blogger, author and teacher with over 20 years teaching and school leadership experience in some the most challenging schools in London. In December 2015, he was nominated for The Sunday Times ‘500 Most Influential People in Britain 2015‘ and remains the only classroom teacher to have featured to this day …

Dale McMorran

Ann Mullins

“I graduated with a degree in music, then began my teaching career in state secondary schools, and became Headeacher of Highbury Fields School in London. I was elected to the Council and Executive Board of ASCL (then SHA), and chaired the professional committee during the founding of Ofsted and GTCE. I was also a Founder member of the GTCE. Since retirement, I have remained heavily involved in education. I was adviser to the trustees of the Teaching Awards Trust, then director of the Teaching Awards Company. I have been judging for the Teaching Awards since 2004. I was the Chair of Governors at Laycock primary school for several years, and am currently Chair at Evelina Hospital School (GSST as well as a Trustee of ASCL Benevolent Fund and Chair of the Associates Committee. I also sit on the Trustee board of the Thomas Wall trust.”

Becky Newman
“I have worked in Education for just over 10 years. I started out as a mid-day assistant and then as a teaching assistant. In 2010 I won a teaching award for Teaching Assistant of the Year. Since then I have become a maths teacher and teach GCSE maths at a Secondary School in Suffolk. I feel very honoured to judge for the teaching awards, I have met some very inspirational people and seen some outstanding work, but most importantly I have seen the impact this has on the Children they work with.”

Jane Nolan 
Jane is the Executive Principal of Ormiston South Parade Academy, Grimsby and leads the primary schools across her MAT. She is the 2018 Silver Winner in two categories and TES Headteacher of the Year 2018. Jane’s academy is ranked in the top 3% of primary schools for progress, and all levels of attainment are well above average. Jane sits on a number of national forums including the DfE’s Head Teacher Reference Group, which provides feedback and advice on matters of national education policy. Prior to headship, Jane held primary teaching and leadership positions in schools throughout the north of England

Nina Panayis
“My whole working life has been spent teaching in the East End of London. After being appointed Headteacher in one school, I was asked to take over a neighboring school that had been placed in ‘Special Measures’; becoming the first Headteacher in Newham to lead two schools. I was honoured to be presented with the UK award for ‘Teacher of the Year in a Primary School’ in 2003.  Although officially retired, I still work in schools on a consultancy basis; including teaching on a regular basis.”

Catherine Power
Catherine won the Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School in 2013.  She has been the head of St Philip Evans in Llanederyn, Cardiff, for 15 years.  Her passion for her work and care for the staff and pupils of the school ensure that the school community always works towards continuous improvement, enabling future generations to have the best start possible in education.

Sheila Ralph
“I am a recently retired headteacher from one of the largest primary school in South Yorkshire, having over 34 years teaching and leading experience in all key primary phases and a Local Leader in Education. I have been judging for the Teaching Awards since 2005. One teacher made a difference in my life; I aimed throughout my teaching career to make a difference in many childrens’ lives. No child ever asked to be born; my entire philosophy was aimed at creating learning opportunities and environments for all to succeed, leading staff to work together ‘to make smiles grow’ enabling happy confident individuals to thrive.”

Geraint Rees
Geraint Rees for the last 4 years has been on secondment as an expert adviser to Welsh Government. After teaching in Kenya in the 1980s, he then worked as a teacher and headteacher for over 20 years in Welsh and English medium settings in Wales. Following 10 years as the founding headteacher of Ysgol Plasmawr he worked as a Headteacher Adviser and Executive Headteacher in Cardiff His career has involved being a head of business education, a head of sixth form, a prison teacher, youth work volunteer, and has undertaken a wide range of roles within the examination system. His main interests are history, sport, live music, and human rights campaigning.

Pam Roberts
“I have recently retired after 35 years of teaching. I was a Primary School Teacher and Deputy Head working in schools in Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Monmouthshire. I thoroughly enjoyed my teaching career and I am now  enjoying the freedom to pursue other interests and challenges. I have been a Teaching Awards Judge since winning the UK award in 2004.”

Raza Siddique
Raza is an experienced lecturer in sport who provides an outstanding learner experience inside and outside the classroom. He uses technology and student-centred learning as an engagement tool in all lessons. Working outside of college, he provides the next generation of footballers and Rugby League players with a good understanding of the sport. Raza is dad of three children aged 12, 8 and 1 and husband to Clare.

Sir Alan Steer
Alan was head teacher of a large comprehensive school in East London.  The school was repeatedly judged to be outstanding by Ofsted and in 2004 he was knighted for his services to Education.  From 2001 Alan acted as an adviser to the D. f. E. and in 2005 was responsible for producing the acclaimed report: Learning Behaviour.  He has served as Pro Director at the Institute of Education (UCL) and was a non executive member of the Ofsted Board.

Ava Sturridge-Packer CBE
Ava has served as a Head Teacher for 20 years and her teaching career also included serving as a Teacher Governor and a Parent Governor. For this reason, Ava has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with existing and future governors as she firmly believes that irrespective of who you are or whatever your background, you do have something to give in support of a school.

Maire Thompson
Maire Thompson is in her 6th year as Principal. Maire is in her first year of Principal at Hazelwood Integrated College after 5 years at Malone College. In her previous role as Principal of Malone College, the school won the Derrytrasna Award for Outstanding Pastoral Care in 2015 and in 2017 Maire received the Pearson UK Head teacher of the Year Award. She has worked as an Associate Assessor for the Education & Training Inspectorate (ETI) since 2014, is the Chairperson of the Department of Education Newcomers Reference Group and was appointed to the Northern Ireland 14-19 Innovation Labs this year.

Bob Twells
I have been in teaching for 30 years and have recently retired after 20 years of headship. I thoroughly enjoyed my time and now stay in contact with schools through my new role of consultant. Before ‘ED’ I was in the RAF finishing my career on 50 Squadron-Vulcan bombers
I am married to Gill, have three children, two dogs and live in the lovely village of Claygate, Surrey. I love walking, travel, cycling and swimming and cannot resist visits to art galleries (I even ran one for a short period). I also enjoy cooking and even catered for two different weddings.”

Jashu Vekaria MBE
Jashu Vekaria has been teaching for 15 years, she has supported colleagues across many schools in Harrow and built up an excellent reputation. She moved to Uxendon Manor Primary School in Brent in September 2010 and has worked at the school for six years – the first two as an Advanced Skills Teacher and from 2012 as the Deputy Headteacher. She is currently playing a leading role in delivering training as part of the schools designation by the Brent Schools Partnership as a ‘Specialist Centre for Mathematics’. She has made a tremendous impact in the schools and communities in which she has worked. Jashu is a wonderfully gifted teacher and has been an inspiration to both children and adults alike.

Sue Williamson
Sue Williamson is chief executive of SSAT. Sue’s early career began with various posts at schools in Northamptonshire and Berkshire, before becoming headteacher of Monks’ Dyke School in Lincolnshire. As headteacher, examination results went from 15% to 56% GCSEs 5 A*- C. Sue joined SSAT in 2002 as director of affiliation with responsibility for membership, leadership, innovation, and the national conference. She later worked on the personalising learning agenda, and introduced iNet, working with schools internationally. She became chief executive in November 2011. Sue is a chair of governors, a fellow of the RSA and a trustee of several charities.