- Tonight, thirteen UK teachers and schools have been honoured for their inspirational work and remarkable achievements during a dazzling awards ceremony at The Brewery, London.
The glamorous celebration saw the exceptional winners receive the highest accolade of the teaching profession, across categories such as ‘Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School’, ‘Excellence in Special Needs Education’, ‘Lifetime Achievement’, and the newly introduced ‘School of the Year – Making a Difference’ award.
Now in their 20th year, the Pearson Teaching Awards, which were established by Lord Puttnam CBE, celebrate outstanding teachers and teaching across the UK. BBC presenters Anita Rani and Sean Fletcher hosted the annual event, alongside a host of other celebrities, including Ed Balls, Liz Bonnin and Deborah Meaden.
Gold winners were nominated for awards by pupils, parents and colleagues. Inspirational stories from the night include (full list in Notes):
- Marie Watson from the Royal School for the Deaf won the ‘Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education’. Marie is profoundly deaf. She attended the Royal School for the Deaf in Derby (RSDD) as a pupil, then a teaching assistant, and then went onto achieve phenomenal things as a qualified English and British Sign Language teacher at the same school. Marie is an excellent role model to deaf children; she breaks the barriers of their disability and shows them that they can aspire to be anything they wish. She has opened up the avenue of communication between parent and child, giving children with impaired hearing the chance to form better bonds with their loved ones, sometimes for the first time.
- Benjamin Adlard Primary School won the ‘Award for School of the Year – Making a Difference’. Benjamin Adlard Primary School is the central hub for learning and community cohesion in the local area. In an area of significant disadvantage, the school does all it can to amplify the voices of the children and the community it serves, providing an exceptional education in very challenging circumstances. They offer a free breakfast every morning, employ a full-time family support worker and have special mobility mentors who help new pupils integrate effectively and make rapid progress. Moving from Special Measures to Good (the first good judgement the school has ever had) was just the beginning of Benjamin Adlard’s journey – the school team now impacts the community in ways that no Ofsted inspection could ever measure.
- Jamie Frost from Tiffin School won the ‘Award for the Outstanding Use of Technology in Education’. Jamie uses technology to positively impact a wide audience of students and teachers all over the world. In 2016 he received a grant from the Mayor of London’s Office, via the Shine Trust, to produce a free online maths learning platform – www.drfrostmaths.com. The website offers an excellent collection of free teaching resources, videos, and a bank of exam questions, all for free. So far, the platform is used by over 2000 schools internationally, and his teaching resources have been downloaded over 1.5 million times. The website is currently being updated to adapt to changing technologies (such as smartphones and tablets), and the level of detailing in the coding is second-to-none. The platform has already sparked national attention, and Jamie has been featured as author of the month in the Times Educational Supplement (TES).
Michael Morpurgo, Children’s Author and President of the Pearson’s Teaching Awards said: “Teachers are the quiet heroes. By telling their stories, by highlighting their skill and dedication, we can do some justice to them and to the whole profession. Through the Teaching Awards, we hope to enhance the reputation and value of the teachers in our lives, their importance in our society, and thus help to encourage the most talented and committed young people to become teachers.”
Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK, said: “A huge congratulations to all the 2018 Teaching Award winners on this fantastic achievement. Pearson is proud of its unwavering commitment to these awards. Life-changing education is the result, above all else, of great teaching. These Teaching Awards offer us the opportunity to pause and honour our teachers.”
Parents and students alike can recognise and thank the teachers who are making a difference by visiting https://teachingawards.com/thank-a-teacher/. The Teaching Awards will send your teacher a lovely card in the post, for free, and it also means they could be in with a chance of winning at next year’s ceremony.
Download the souvenir programme of the evening here.
The Pearson Teaching Awards are open to every school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The awards were established by Lord Puttnam CBE in 1998 and are managed by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity. The Trust’s mission is to celebrate excellence in education. www.teachingawards.com
Pearson, the sponsor of the Pearson Teaching Awards, is the world’s learning company, working in countries across the globe to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning.
Pearson has expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and offers a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Its mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. It believes that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit https://uk.pearson.com
PEARSON TEACHING AWARDS: 2018 WINNERS
|Excellence in Special Needs Education||Marie Watson
|Royal School for the Deaf||Derby
|FE Team of the Year||Essential Skills Team||Belfast Metropolitan College||Belfast|
|School of the Year – Making a Difference||Benjamin Adlard Primary School||Benjamin Adlard Primary School||Lincolnshire
|Jo Richardson Community School||Jo Richardson Community School||Dagenham, East London|
|The Award for FE Lecturer of the Year||Jonathan Wharton||Sunderland College||Sunderland, North East|
|Teaching Assistant of the Year||James Poynter||Clacton County High School||Clacton, Essex|
|Outstanding New Teacher of the Year
Green Ridge Primary Academy
|Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School
|Romayne Charles||Higham Lane School||Nuneaton, Midlands|
|Lifetime Achievement||Janis Burdin||Moss Side Primary School||Leyland, Lancashire|
|Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School||Leanne Griffiths||
The Morley Academy
|Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School||Chris Flathers
|The Gold Star Federation – Goldbeaters & The Orion Primary schools||London
|Teacher of the Year in a Primary School||Andy Silvester||Crowmarsh Gifford C.E. Primary School||Oxfordshire|
|Outstanding Use of Technology in Education||Jamie Frost||Tiffin School||Kingston, Surrey|
**BIOGRAPHIES OF GOLD WINNERS 2018**
The Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education
Marie Watson – Royal School for the Deaf – Derby
Marie is profoundly deaf. She attended the Royal School for the Deaf Derby (RSDD) as a pupil, then a teaching assistant, and then went onto achieve phenomenal things as a qualified English and British Sign Language teacher at the same school.
Marie is an excellent role model to deaf children; she breaks the barriers of their disability and shows them that they can aspire to be anything they wish. Her work has even extended to outside the classroom, to ensure that her pupils are not just achieving the highest levels academically, but socially and emotionally too. She has taken her pupils on trips abroad; something one parent believed never could be possible for her daughter. She has opened up the avenue of communication between parent and child, giving children with impaired hearing the chance to form better bonds with their loved ones, sometimes for the first time. Marie is an exceptional teacher, and any child would be lucky to be taught by her.
The Award for Headteacher of the year in a Primary school
Chris Flathers – The Gold Star Federation – Goldbeaters & The Orion Primary schools – North London
Chris is an inspirational Headteacher who founded The Orion Primary in 2000, and took over Goldbeaters in 2004.
With his infectious passion for success, Chris has essentially transformed the community that he teaches in, and taught his pupils that they can do absolutely anything if they put their mind to it. Everything that Chris does is focused on making people’s lives better. He supports his children’s families and communities by hosting local events such as ‘dad’s breakfasts’, cinema nights and ‘mums pamper nights’ to engage everyone and to ultimately, make parents and students feel as though they are part of a solid society. He even set up his own cleaning company to give jobs to the local community.
His assemblies have been described as comparable to Saturday night prime time entertainment – with learning at the heart, audience interaction and boundless levels of fun and energy from the host himself. The children love their school, describing it as ‘fun’, ‘golden’, ‘caring’ and ‘simply the best’. To top all this, thanks to Chris’s amazing work, both schools were awarded Sadiq Khan’s ‘Schools for Success Award’ earlier this year.
The Award for Headteacher of the year in a Secondary School
Leanne Griffiths – The Morley Academy – Leeds
Since joining the academy in 2005, Leanne has made it her mission to ensure that all children, regardless of background, have the ‘gift of choice’ so they can aspire to be, and do, anything they want.
She provides all pupils with the best physical, and emotional support possible, and has been a key force in supporting mental health education. When a student had a devastating accident that left him paralysed, Leanne not only supported the entire family, but also ensured the school could be physically adapted to enable him to return.
Her exceptional leadership and teaching skills, led to Morley Academy securing The World Class Schools Quality Mark last year and has resulted in some of the best GCSE results in the country.
The Award for School of the Year – Making a Difference
Benjamin Adlard Primary School – Lincolnshire
Benjamin Adlard Primary School is the central hub for learning and community cohesion in the local area.
In an area of significant disadvantage, the school does all it can to amplify the voices of the children and the community it serves, providing an exceptional education in very challenging circumstances. They offer a free breakfast every morning, employ a full-time family support worker and have special mobility mentors who help new pupils integrate effectively and make rapid progress.
Moving from ‘Special Measures’ to ‘Good’ (the first good judgement the school has ever had) was just the beginning of Benjamin Adlard’s journey – the school team now impacts the community in ways that no Ofsted inspection could ever measure. For example, the school supports local nursing homes, and has bold, inspirational plans to create a community hub with the police force to help with debt counselling, housing support, employment support, food banks and more.
The school is committed to helping all parents and pupils, whatever their personal challenges may be. One parent of a young child with autism explained how their son went from attending school for 10 minutes a day to full time.
Jo Richardson Community School – Dagenham, East London
The Jo Richardson Community School goes above and beyond to provide an education which is second to none for all its students.
The school prides itself as being an oasis of learning, and endless opportunities for everyone. Thanks to student fundraising initiatives, the children are able to access opportunities that may previously not have been accessible to them due to social or economic barriers. These include having dinner at a high-end restaurant or even trips abroad, so children can widen their horizons and have a better global perspective.
The staff work closely with the likes of the Youth Offending Service, the Police and Mental Health services, to ensure that they are always coming up with ways to positively impact the lives of their students, but also the community.
The Award for FE Team of the Year
The Essential Skills Team – Belfast Metropolitan College – Belfast
Belfast Metropolitan College has been on a phenomenal journey over the past couple of years and, thanks to the aspirations and hard work of the Essential Skills Team, has travelled to the top of Further Education (FE) sector.
The Essential Skills team provide learning opportunities that inspire and give confidence to learners, circa 4,000 annually, who have previously had negative experiences in maths, English and ICT.
This team is at the core of the College’s social inclusion agenda reaching out across the city and offering the life-changing benefits of education and training to every individual and community. They team work with an incredible variety of learners, including community groups and the Northern Ireland Prison service to support young adults achieve a successful further education and meet future career aspirations.
As a result of their work, Belfast Metropolitan College has been recognized amongst the community as a service that not only helps excel further education results but also supports, both socially and economically Northern Ireland’s future wellbeing and prosperity.
The Award for FE Lecturer of the Year
Jonathan Wharton – Sunderland College – Sunderland, North East
In a short time as a lecturer, on a fixed term maternity contract, Jonathan has completely transformed the dynamics within the drama department.
He has created a wealth of opportunities for the learners he teaches, and is highly creative in finding way to inspire and engage everyone. Alongside all the hard work and dedication Jonathan gives Sunderland College, he also works with a local academy, Thornhill, where he delivers free drama sessions to learners who would otherwise not be able to access such activities. This is an enormous help to the community as it gives the learners the chance to be involved and come together as a tighter society.
Jonathon is extremely passionate about the arts being included in education and for the past 8 months, he has implemented programmes to engage learners into seeing creative arts as future employment opportunities. Jonathon’s proactive thinking into how to transform the learning environment to become more stimulating and meaningful has resulted in a more enriched classroom, increased productivity within the department, and inspired learners.
Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School
Andy Silvester – Crowmarsh Gifford C.E. Primary School – Oxfordshire
Andy is Deputy Headteacher and teaches Year 6 at Crowmarsh Gifford C of E Primary School.
Andy not only helps children progress academically, but also socially and emotionally. He pushes every child to be their best, tapping into their confidence and truly preparing them for life beyond primary school. He has a relentless drive to improve his practice to ensure the very best for every child in his care.
Pupils credit Andy for making ‘school fun’ and ‘bringing the best out of everyone’, and parents comment that how they have noticed their children are ‘more confident and self-motivated’, and how they have totally changed their attitude to school when they have been in his class.
Andy’s inspiration extends beyond the classroom as well, with one ex-pupil claiming that the book they were writing would be dedicated to Mr Silvester.
The Award for Teacher of the Year in a secondary School
Romayne Charles – Higham Lane School – Nuneaton, Midlands
Miss Charles is Subject Leader for Social Sciences at Higham Lane School, and has been teaching there for the last seven and a half years.
She has been described as ‘an enthusiastic, inspirational teacher with the highest expectations whose excellence in teaching and learning achieves outstanding results across her several subjects’. So much so, that staff have even moved schools to join Romayne at Higham Lane to be able to work with her.
Respected highly amongst pupils as well, Romayne has been credited for her ‘non-judgmental approach’, and her ability to read emotions, offering them genuine care and respect – one student even referred to her as ‘our school mum’.
She engages with a full range of stakeholders, including parents and staff, to ensure that pupils learn most effectively and contributes fully to the life of the school beyond her own classroom. People who have experienced her teaching talk of how she was born to teach children, and highlighted how the students work even harder to please her.
Award for Teaching Assistant of the Year
James Poynter – Clacton County High School – Clacton, Essex
James is a technical assistant working at Clacton County High School, and has been a constant support to the Design & Technology department for over 20 years.
He arrives to work early and is always one of the last of the team to leave, giving additional time to his colleagues and the students in order for all of them to meet their potential. He once stayed after school hours to help measure and laser cut new parts for one student’s work after realising it was incorrectly put together.
Thanks to James’s knowledge and enthusiasm, one parent commented how her daughter, who previously had no interest in engineering, is now looking for a future career in the RAF. Another parent with a son who struggles with learning difficulties was also amazing at how James helped their child learn and engage with the rest of the class, having struggled with social interactions in the past.
James is constantly updating his knowledge of new technologies so that he can support the children to the best of their abilities, whilst also provide training for other members of the team. James is seen as “the glue that holds things together” in the department.
The Award for Outstanding New Teacher
Cinzia Imbriano – Green Ridge Primary Academy – Bucks
Cinzia is a class teacher at Green Ridge Primary Academy, and has only been there for six months.
Over that time, she has made an incredible start to her teaching career. Green Ridge Primary Academy is currently based in a porta cabin on a building site in the middle of a housing estate, which includes social housing. The school only opened in September 2017 when Cinzia joined, with only two classes in Reception and one in Key Stage One, which Cinzia teaches now. The mix of thirty students in her class have all come from over twenty different schools, with a mass of different needs, meaning her lesson plans have to be specifically tailored to individual needs to ensure all students make progress. Her work has not gone unnoticed by parents, who have commented that they could not have hoped ‘for a better experience for their children’.
Award for the Outstanding Use of Technology in Education
Jamie Frost – Tiffin School – Kingston, Surrey
Jamie is a Subject Leader in maths at Tiffin School, and has been there for six years.
Jamie uses technology to positively impact a wide audience of students and teachers all over the world. In 2016 he received a grant from the Mayor of London’s Office, via the Shine Trust, to produce a free online maths learning platform – www.drfrostmaths.com. The website offers an excellent collection of free teaching resources, videos, and a bank of exam questions, all for free. So far, the platform is used by over 2000 schools internationally, and his teaching resources have been downloaded over 1.5 million times. The website is currently being updated to adapt to changing technologies (such as smartphones and tablets), and the level of detailing in the coding is second-to-none. The platform has already sparked national attention, and Jamie has been featured as author of the month in the Times Educational Supplement (TES).
Thanks to Jamie, the way maths is taught has been transformed, not just at Tiffin School, but all over the world.
The Award for Lifetime Achievement
Janis Burdin – Moss Side Primary School – Leyland, Lancashire
Janis Burdin is Associate Headteacher at Moss Side Primary School and has been for 36 years.
Janis has been a linchpin in education for the last 40 years. She has been, and remains, a role model who garners respect, trust and loyalty from pupils, staff, colleagues, parents and the community she works in, which is surpassed by nobody else in the teaching field.
In her late twenties, as the youngest head in Lancashire, she opened a school in the heart of a new publically owned housing estate. She first considered the job when the school was simply a plot of land set aside to serve the community of the ‘New town’ area of Leyland. The creation of the school has played a full part in the improvement of the area. She has used her considerable talents to benefit the thousands of pupils and staff who have walked through the doors, encouraging students to share any of their other talents in assemblies or presentations as a way of boosting their self-esteem.
Janis is due to retire this summer, and will leave behind her a great legacy, and an outstanding school to which she has dedicated her career. She will be solely missed by all stakeholders in the school and within the local teaching community.