Four head teachers who, between them, have worked in Hackney schools for almost 100 years were among those recognised at last night’s Educators’ Awards organised by The Learning Trust.
The Awards, which took place at the Hackney Empire on Tuesday 13 March, celebrated
Hackney’s educational achievements over the past year and included categories such as School of the Year, Creative School and Lifetime Achievement Award.
Presented by BBC London’s Brenda Emmanus, the evening included performances by Hackney’s young musicians including the Petchey Academy jazz band, African drummers and dancers from Kingsmead Primary School and the Hackney Training Orchestra.
Cheryl Day, Head at Clapton Girls’ Academy, Jacqueline Bruton-Simmonds, Head of Jubilee
Primary, Karen Coulthard, Head of Berger Primary School and Patricia Cardis, Head of Parkwood Primary all received the Lifetime Achievement Award after judges were unable to pick a winner. The four have worked in Hackney schools for a combined total of almost 100 years.
Other winners included Catherine Aickin, who was awarded a Lifetime Merit Award for her work with Wentworth Nursery School. Nominating Catherine, Head Carolyn Maples said: “Catherine is volunteer par excellence and when she offers to do something she unfailing achieves it. She has a brilliant brain and has inventive, creative ideas which she follows through.” During the 24 years Catherine has volunteered at the nursery, she has installed photovoltaic cells, learnt Braille to support a pupil and produced 3D books among many other things.
On winning the award, Catherine said: “Wentworth is such a lovely place to work, I’ve been
associated with it for a long time and it’s always been a nice place. My nomination came out of the blue but I was really flattered and inspired.”
The Learning Trust’s Steve Herbert picked up the Team of the Year award for leading Schools at the Heart, an innovative project designed to inspire Hackney’s school pupils as we approach the Olympic and Paralympic Games. As well as getting almost all schools signed up to the Get Set Network, Steve has also recruited over 100 ‘ambassadors’ from primary schools to help spread the word about the Games. He said: ““To get acknowledged is amazing, so to win it has made my day. I’ve spent the whole day with our Primary Ambassadors so this is fantastic.”
Queensbridge Primary School was named Primary School of the Year, an accolade which comes on the back of being named Outstanding by Ofsted and becoming a National Support School. Headteacher Sarah Bailey said: “Having had such a brilliant year with being named Outstanding by Ofsted, to win this award is fantastic. We are so proud and it’s well deserved. We have an outstanding staff team and work so hard for the children, who have fantastic outcomes.”
Wentworth Nursery School picked up another award for Sustainability, after parents reported being bossed about by their toddlers to switch off lights and recycle waste!
Kym Foley, Sustainable Schools Coordinator, said: “I’m so happy and impressed with the kids, they have really embraced sustainability. They are so young but they walk around the nursery telling the adults what to do!”
Speaking at the awards, Alan Wood, Director of Children’s Services, said: “When The Learning Trust was established 10 years ago, one of the things that we promised was that we would ensure that the success of Hackney schools is celebrated. Tonight’s event focuses on the people at the heart of that success – our teachers, governors, staff, parents, volunteers. It gives me atremendous sense of pride to be associated with them.”
Sir Mike Tomlinson, who was the first Chair of The Learning Trust, added: “It’s an honour to be here and bear witness to such success, determination and hard work. It’s their enthusiasm, drive and passion for education that has seen results and successes in Hackney soar over the last 10 years and I am delighted to be here.”
For a full list of the finalists click here.
Photograph - Most Improved Schools: L-R: Steve Belk (Acting CEO), Janet Taylor (Millfields), Jane Betsworth (Head, Millfields), Annie Gammon (Head teacher, Stoke Newington School), Umamah Tarvala (student, SNS), Jill Cameron (SNS), Brenda Emmanus