Grainne McLaughlin
  • The Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School (sponsored by Hays)
  • The Gateway Academy
  • Grays, Essex

Since Joining The Gateway Academy in 2015, Grainne has been a force for change within both the school and the local community.  Although the starting points for Gateway Academy students are lower than national average and the level of deprivation is higher, she never uses this as an excuse for students not to excel.   More students than ever are moving on to exceptional further education providers such as Russell Group Universities and Cambridge.  One student even moved on to private schools with full scholarships for sixth form provision.

Staff wellbeing is always a priority for Grainne and ensuring that the school is staffed with the highest quality teachers.  This (working alongside the community) has ensured the school is now oversubscribed with a waiting list in Year 7, despite there being over 300 unfilled places in the borough.  With determination and a sincere passion for the students, Grainne is changing the lives of both students and their families across Thurrock.