• The Award for Lifetime Achievement, (sponsored by the Department for Education)
  • Outwood Primary Academy Ledger Lane
  • Silver Winners
  • 2022
  • Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Jackie Gray has been Director of Early Years at Outwood Grange Academies Trust since 2018. She has been in education for over 40 years, having started her career as a nursery nurse and trained to become a teacher whilst working full time. She is now responsible for the development of the entire Trust workforce and the quality of provision and outcomes in its EYFS phase. This means working across 12 schools in five Local Authorities. After succeeding in teaching and leadership roles, Jackie became Lead Local Authority Consultant in 2008 and led on the implementation of systematic synthetic phonics across Wakefield Authority.

As a result, the Good Level of Development increased from ‘well below’ to ‘in line with’ the national average. One of her greatest achievements was leading a programme of support for the Private, Voluntary and Independent settings in Wakefield. Her work was instrumental in raising quality and standards and increasing (from 66% to 100%!) the number of settings achieving Ofsted ‘Good’ or better in three years.