London schools take home four awards at the ‘Oscars of education’


London schools won four awards at the Tes Schools Awards, one of the biggest nights in the UK education calendar which was held on Friday 13th November.

The winning teachers and schools from the capital were:

Evelyn Forde from Copthall School in Barnet, who won Headteacher of the Year

Alysha Allen, a maths teacher from Brimsdown Primary School in Enfield, who won New Teacher of the Year

Forest Gate Community School in Newham, who won English Team of the Year

Kensington Primary School in Newham, who won the Wellbeing and Mental Health Award

Headteacher of the Year Evelyn Forde is head of Copthall School, a girls’ secondary in Barnet which, in January 2016, was rated as requiring improvement as its outcomes, reputation and pupil numbers plummeted. Only two years later, after Ms Forde took the helm, the school was awarded a “good” rating, and Copthall has been in the top 4 per cent of schools nationally for progress at GCSE for the past 3 years, and the top 1.5 per cent in the 2018-19 academic year.

Beyond results, Ms Forde has been tireless in promoting her school and being a positive role model, for example, by climbing Snowdon to raise money for Copthall and raise awareness of the important issue of school funding. She is also a mentor to other black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) teachers struggling for promotion and has brought the issue of BAME under-representation to the national press.

Lead judge Dame Joan McVittie said at the judging session that this was the strongest cohort of nominations she had seen in seven years, but Ms Forde stood out. She said: “The quality and quantity of entries for the headteacher award were exceptionally high. This made judging very challenging and the final winner is well deserving.”