A London headteacher has been named as one of the nation’s most inspirational educators on The One Show on BBC One. Selected from thousands of nominations, Reema Reid has won a Gold Award in the Pearson National Teaching Awards for The Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School.

The award came as part of a week-long celebration of teaching which will end this Sunday at a prestigious ceremony celebrating all 102 Silver Winners of the Pearson National Teaching Awards. At the ceremony, Reema Reid will be honoured alongside their fellow Gold Winners across 15 categories as the best of the UK’s educators.

Reema is the daughter of a Windrush immigrant who first joined education as a lunchtime supervisor and a teaching assistant in Lambeth before working her way up to a Head of School position. She has worked in Southwark as a substantive headteacher since 2013. She has previously established links across the city, including with Goldman Sachs, the RAF, and even Borough Market, where children grow vegetables at the school and then sell them at the market.

As headteacher, she has been at the forefront of tracking initiatives to ensure the school can respond to the challenges of a changing pupil demographic, and continually works to improve the school. She is a part of Southwark’s Teaching School Alliance focussing on coaching and mentoring ethnic minority teachers to take up leadership roles in their schools and has empowered many BAME educators and pupils to follow in her footsteps.

The Pearson National Teaching Award winners have been honoured for their incredible work supporting learners across the country. Each award winner has repeatedly gone above and beyond their role to change the lives of their students and help them move towards a brighter future.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with. The 2022 Pearson National Teaching Awards open for entry on Friday 26 November 2021.

On receiving her award, Reema Reid said: “I am delighted to win this award – it’s a wonderful feeling to be nominated in the first place and then to win the Gold Award is a little bit overwhelming! No one goes into teaching to win awards, but it is lovely to have all your hard work recognised like this.

“Teaching is hard at times but it is a fantastic job, and is so rewarding. We don’t just work with the children but with their families and the wider community, and this award shows how well we have brought our community into our school.

“I want to thank everyone who has helped me, all the staff at Hollydale and all of our incredible children, for their support. This really is an achievement for them as much as me.”

Sir Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “People of all ages will always remember that wonderful teacher who made such a difference in their lives.

“The teacher will never know how many lives they have changed, or the impact they have made on so many families, but our hope is that these awards help show our gratitude.”

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of Pearson School Qualifications, said: “Reema Reid is a shining example of the wonderful educators who work tirelessly across the country to provide the best possible experience for their students, and we thank them all.

“Throughout the awards we’ve heard so many inspirational stories of school and college staff who show such exceptional dedication to their students, to their colleagues, and to their communities. Our congratulations go to all winners on their awards.”

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “I would like to congratulate Reema Reid for this recognition of her amazing work and dedication to her students. Winning one of these awards is a terrific achievement and is testament to Reema Reid’s skill, commitment and passion for teaching.

“We are lucky enough to have some of the best teachers in the world and I would like to thank every single one of our education staff for their hard work supporting children and young people, especially during the pandemic.”

Paul Mattias, National Director of Hays Education, supporter of The Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School, said: “We work with thousands of schools across the country and know too well the impact of a truly inspirational leader.

“Reema Reid is clearly that, and her story shows us how respected they are by everyone who comes into contact with them. She is a thoroughly deserving winner of this award, and we wish her all the best for her future career.”

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