Education awards

2017 award winners

More than 350 nominations were received for education awards in 2017.

Outstanding early years practitioner

Sponsored by ALM Training

Winner: Tracey Lempriere, Willow Garden Day Nursery. Tracey has worked in the education establishment for many years. She inspires young practitioners to follow in their path.

Her crazy persona means she is a true child at heart and this has never died. She is a very creative practitioner, able to provide the highest quality of learning to children aged under 5.


  • Belinda England, Belmont Childcare
  • Emmie Hinchliffe, Childminder
  • Laura Robinson, Headstart Day and Afterschool Care

Outstanding new teacher

Sponsored by Strategy Education

Winner: Tracy Rowe, Stifford Clays Primary School. Tracy makes sure all her lessons are relevant and engaging, and does this with outstanding enthusiasm. She captures the children's imagination with their well thought out lesson plans, and works closely with her team to make sure children are given an exciting and broad curriculum.

Her dedication and commitment to continually develop is apparent through the tasks she has taken on. She is always looking for ways to improve, not only herself but also the school.


  • Charlotte Boileau, ORTU Gable Hall School
  • Polly McCarthy, William Edwards School
  • Jordan Stevens, St Clere's School

Aspiring leader

Sponsored by Palmers Solicitors

Winner: Jamie Stephens, Chadwell St Mary Primary School. Jamie always exceeds expectations. He keeps his knowledge of recent initiatives and research up-to-date and shares these with colleagues.

Proactive, reliable and knowledgeable, he is an asset to the school. His influence will undoubtedly be shared with more and more Thurrock colleagues in the coming years. Jamie has a very bright future as a leader in education.


  • Amanda Bradley, Beacon Hill Academy
  • Nathan Farrell, William Edwards School
  • Jennifer Rose, The Hathaway Academy

Creative teaching and learning

Sponsored by High House Production Park

Winner: Bianca Brand, Kenningtons Primary Academy. Bianca has strategically selected creative and cultural workshops for classes throughout the school. She identifies and continuously reviews the goals she strives to achieve through creative learning and the arts, and she inspires other teachers to do the same.


  • Traci Clark, Treetops School
  • Kirstie Hatton, Thameside Primary School
  • Nina Jarman, William Edwards School

Education support

Sponsored by Print Warehouse

Winner: Maggie Woodfield, Ormiston Park Academy. Maggie is the voice for many of the school's hard-to-reach students. She has changed people's lives, taking them from a damaging environment and giving them the skills to be strong and make positive changes. This doesn't stop when she leaves the building – the support and reassurance continues.

Every member of the school's staff is in awe of her work. The students feel safe in her care. The leadership team constantly call upon Maggie's expertise.


  • Paul Newbury, St Clere's School
  • Sue Webb, Purfleet Primary Academy
  • Jill Wingham, Treetops School

Excellence in English and/or maths

Sponsored by ALM Training

Winner: St Clere's Maths Department, St Clere's School. Every day, every lesson is a learning experience in which children thrive as they are encouraged to move out of their comfort zone and apply their skills to a variety of situations. Constantly researching and engaging children, they plan and review new strategies. Their professionalism in monitoring and intervening means children are supported and helped to develop resilience.


  • Nella Murthen, Belmont Castle Academy
  • Lauren Ponder, William Edwards School
  • Kelly Voss, Horndon on the Hill Church of England Primary School

Excellence in science and technologies

Sponsored by Thames Oil Port

Winner: Team Science, St Clere's School. They are inspirational, and not just in the classroom. Trips and experiences bring their subject to life for the students. Results have been consistently high for the last few years, scoring highly in terms of attainment both regionally and nationally.


  • Jason Burr, Grays Convent High School
  • Caroline Chibanda, The Gateway Academy
  • Henry Dunn, William Edwards School

Inspiring career opportunity

Sponsored by DP World London Gateway

Winner: Logistics Academy, Port of Tilbury. They are renowned locally for their considerable input in supporting initiatives in the development of careers advice and skills development programs. The winner runs key projects and programs in partnership with other organisations including one-to-one mentoring, careers fairs and mock interview days.


  • Inspire, Thurrock Council
  • Kate Merritt, Gable Hall School
  • Prince's Trust Team, Thurrock Council

Governor, governing body or trust

Sponsored by Kingston Smith

Winner: Steve Smith, Belmont Castle Academy. Steve is one of life's unsung heroes, incredibly hardworking, conscientious and a dedicated governor, who knows the school inside and out. He is a real champion for the pupils, always putting their needs first. In doing so, he has helped considerably to improve standards in the school.

In short, Steve is proactive and a great asset, not only to the school but all the schools he has been involved with.


  • Maureen Bentley, Giffards Primary School
  • Temi Fawehinmi, Tudor Court Primary School
  • Paul Griffiths, St Clere's Co-operative Academy Trust

Teacher of the year in primary education, special education or alternative provision

Sponsored by Strategy Education

Winner: Kate Poppy, Beacon Hill Academy. Kate has inspired and helped so many young people. She never gives up looking for new, stimulating ways to help fulfil children's potential. She puts so much effort into getting the children to where they should be – her imagination has helped children be who they are today.


  • Hazel Bennett, Treetops School
  • Alex Rutherford, Purfleet Primary Academy
  • Hugh Templeton, Belmont Castle Academy

Teacher of the year in secondary education, special education, alternative or post-16 provision

Sponsored by Port of Tilbury

Winner: Lucie Burrow, Grays Convent High School. Lucie inspires by her passion for young people's engagement with the arts, and by her general verve for life. Students are excited and engaged by lessons, thanks to the many opportunities Lucie has facilitated. She inspires staff and students to develop their skills and is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure others get the most out of their experiences.


  • Lauren Smith, St Clere's School
  • Emma Summerhayes, ORTU Stanford and Corringham Sixth Form
  • Gareth Williams, Grays Convent High School

Head teacher of the year in primary education

Sponsored by HW Wilson limited

Winner: Lorna Hamilton, ORTU Corringham Primary School. Lorna sets challenging, yet realistic targets that are clearly communicated with everybody involved. She listens carefully to others around them, seeking their views but ultimately making the decisions needed to see improvements.

Measures show that children at this school make better progress than the national average. Staff turnover is very low and staffing is stable. A values-driven leader, Lorna talks to staff and makes decisions based on the values staff believe in and adhere to throughout the school – no problem is too big or too small.


  • Joanna Bray, Stanford-le-Hope Primary School
  • Dan George, Tilbury Pioneer Academy
  • Sarah McHugh, Bonnygate Primary School

Head teacher of the year in secondary education, special education, alternative or post-16 provision

Sponsored by Port of Tilbury

Joint winner: Sue Hewitt, Beacon Hill Academy. Sue has a person-centred approach. Her can-do attitude enables students and staff to achieve to their highest potential. She is calm in a crisis and shows tremendous flexibility when dealing with any issues in the course of a day.

Sue is pragmatic and all her thinking and decision making is informed by the well-being of the students. A strong role-model to her staff, her empowering leadership style means she creates a warm, caring and cheerful learning environment.

Joint winner: Ashlie Hughes, St Clere's School. Ashlie has worked tirelessly with their leadership team and staff at all levels to raise expectations and strive to achieve an 'Outstanding' rating. Her work ethic and desire to achieve is infectious. The school has been on an upward trajectory.

The school's progress, results in English, maths and all headline figures are a credit to Ashlie's tireless will to improve. She demonstrates through inspirational leadership how each pupil can achieve beyond their expectations.


  • Huw Derrick, Ormiston Park Academy
  • Barbara King, The Ockendon Academy

Outstanding contribution to education in Thurrock

Sponsored by HW Wilson limited

Winner: Graham Allen, Somers Heath Primary School. A former Chair of the Governing Body, Graham has given many years of service.