7:18 PM June 23, 2022
Actors Christopher Eccleston, Sian Phillips and Sarah Gordy brought star power to the fourth Islington Education Awards.
The stars of the big and small screens handed out awards to the borough’s teachers, school administrators and students in a ceremony at the Barbican which was hosted by Paul Sinha of ITV quiz The Chase.
Daily Mirror assistant editor Darren Lewis, leader of the Islington Council Kaya Comer-Schwartz and children’s author Harry Oulton were also among those to present prizes.
Winners on the night included the student team Footprint from City of London Academy Highbury Grove, who took home the Champions For Change award, Beacon High, who received the Innovation in Inclusion award, and the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, for Ambition in Equalities.
A highlight of the awards is that each category is introduced by a short film of Islington’s children and young people describing the nominees in their own unique style.
Host Sinha said: “You never know quite what you’re going to get when you host an awards ceremony, but the key to the Islington Education Awards was how
absolutely empathetic and engaged with every aspect of it. ”
Sian Phillips, best known for her role in the David Lynch film Dune, described the event as “the only awards worth going to”. Christopher Eccleston, the first Doctor Who of the rebooted series, called the evening “joyous, because you feel like no matter who wins, no matter who’s nominated, they’re all in it together.”
Isha John won Teacher of the Year – Primary for her work with Poole Park Primary School. She said: “It was amazing and completely unexpected to win, but totally appreciated.
“I feel very happy and proud, it’s an amazing event, especially to be at the Barbican in such a beautiful setting, and I’m happy for everyone who’s won.”
And when Waterloo Road star Denise Welch, one of the scheduled presenters, was unable to attend, Sinha invited someone from the audience to volunteer to do the honors. That challenge was taken up by Poppy and Hayley, students at Tufnell Park Primary School, who stole the show with their presenting style and later describing the experience as “good but a bit scary”.
Juliet Benis won the Outstanding Achievement Award 2022 for her work as head of primary school and children’s center at Ambler Primary School.
“The awards were fab,” she said. “I loved the film, it made me cry – and I never cry. It made me love my staff more than I do already, and I’m really grateful. It was the nicest way to end my career, it was just something lovely. ”
Alan Streeter, headteacher of Beacon High, picked up the Innovation in Inclusion prize.
“It’s always an hour to win an award,” he said. “It’s a testament to all the hard work that the staff put in at the school and the transformation from Holloway School to Beacon High.”
Full list of winners
• Senior Leadership Team of the Year in association with Arbor: Beacon High
• Ambition in Equalities – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School
• Product of Islington in association with City, University of London: Alison Rush – Head of Pastoral, The Courtyard
• Teacher of the Year – Primary: Isha John – KS2 Leader and Y6 Class Teacher, Pooles Park Primary School
• Administrative Support of the Year – James Kinloch: Premises Manager, Hanover Primary School
• Champions for Change – Footprint: City of London Academy Highbury Grove
• Curriculum Team or Teacher of the Year – Secondary in association with
London Metropolitan University
Katerina Jedlickova, Class Teacher and Art Coordinator: Richard Cloudesley School
• Excellence in Staff Wellbeing: The Edventure Collaborative
• Excellence in Early Years: Shelley Flaherty and Anthoula Kalkani, Head of Nursery and Nursery Teacher Minik Kardes @ The Factory Children’s Center
• Innovation in Inclusion: Beacon High