The top fifty educators, support staff and volunteers in further education and schools were revealed on Friday night (May 10) at the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards.

The glittering awards dinner was staged by educational charity the KM Charity Team with support from Independent Music Productions at the Ashford International Hotel to honour district winners for each local authority area. Twenty-two winners received the additional accolade of being named best in the whole of Kent.


Olympic athlete Jack Green was a special guest at the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2019.

Sharing hosting duties were Simon Dolby, CEO of the KM Charity Team, and Nicola Everett, head of multimedia news at the KM Group, television presenter for KMTV and newsreader at kmfm radio.

Olympic athlete Jack Green was a special guest at the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2019.

Guest speakers included the charity’s honorary patron and star of CBeebies’ Mister Maker, Phil Gallagher, as well as double Olympic champion Jack Green, and Steven Holdcroft, head of recruitment and admissions for the event’s key partner the University of Kent.

Phil said he was proud to celebrate the county’s best teachers.

“As a former Kent schoolboy, I loved my schooling in Rainham and Gillingham,” he said. “My mum was a teacher as well so I know first-hand how hard teachers work.”

Jack added:

“It was fantastic to see so many top teachers here who have obviously made a big difference to the pupils in their schools.”

The event included an appearance from East Kent Schools Together’s partnership choir ‘The Big Sing’ who performed three songs while dinner was served.

A staggering 1,100 nominations were submitted by students, parents, and school staff praising colleagues for categories including primary, secondary, further education, and newly-qualified teacher as well as team and volunteer awards.

Phil Reynolds from Kreston Reeves was on the panel of judging organisations tasked with selecting the winners.

“The amount of nominations we get grows every year and they just improve year-on-year,” he said. “Teachers and their support staff do such a wonderful job in the sector.”


Pete Talbot, centre, with Sarah Merritt and Sue Parsons from Castle Hill Community Primary School collects the overall Kent Senior Leadership Team of the Year Award. Presented by James Roberts from The Education People and CBeebies star and charity patron Phil Gallagher.

Pete Talbot, centre, with Sarah Merritt and Sue Parsons from Castle Hill Community Primary School collects the overall Kent Senior Leadership Team of the Year Award. Presented by James Roberts from The Education People and CBeebies star and charity patron Phil Gallagher.

Among those clinching an overall prize was head teacher Pete Talbot of Castle Hill Community Primary School in Folkestone, who along with his colleagues won the Kent Senior Leadership Team of the Year Award.

He said the award “represents a huge journey that the school’s been on from a struggling school with no name to a fantastic, large and thriving school.”

Matthew Tragheim, from Wayfield Primary School in Chatham, was crowned Kent ICT Champion of the Year for the use of technology to improve learning.

“Every child has an iPad and we use Flip learning to raise their aspirations and also their progress across the school,” he explained.

And Thomas Nyaku of Dartford Science and Technology College was named Kent Maths Teacher of the Year. He described the win as:

“A very exciting moment for myself and the school. Obviously I’ve come a long way and this has been by the support of my department and the leadership of the school.”

Other countywide champions included Michelle Fleming, chair of the PTA for Borough Green Primary in Sevenoaks, and recipient of the Kent Schools Volunteer of the Year Award; Sally Creavin from the Sheerness West Foundation who was awarded Kent Wellbeing Champion of the Year; and Anthony Stockwell from Tonbridge-based Hadlow College, who won the Kent Apprenticeship Assessor of the Year Award.


‘The Big Sing’ from East Kent Schools Together performed at the awards dinner.

‘The Big Sing’ from East Kent Schools Together performed at the awards dinner.

The annual event aims to spread best practice and to this end a booklet featuring the judges’ commentson each winner has been distributed to all of Kent and Medway’s schools and colleges.

The judging panel, who also presented the awards on the night, included representatives from Medway Youth Trust, the University of Greenwich, Social Enterprise Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, Loop CR, Diggerland, Kent Further Education, Kape HR, KCS, Towergate Insurance, The Education People, Kent Sport, Kent County Council, Medway Council, Salus, Blessing by Blé, and Three R’s Teacher Recruitment.


Best practice booklet.

Simone Miles from Medway Youth Trust said she supported the awards “to recognise the hard work that all of our staff and volunteers do within the education system to ensure that young people have a really good start in life.”

Dr Zita Stone from the University of Kent added that fantastic teaching at primary and secondary school is “absolutely key” for helping students to be successful at higher education level.

Organisations interested in supporting the 2020 awards should contact Simon Dolby at sdolby@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 0844 264 0291 or 07989 164 752.

The KM Charity Team provides a range of green travel and literacy services for schools. Find out more at www.KmWalkToSchool.co.uk or www.BustersBookClub.co.uk

The Overall Winners 2019

Kent Wellbeing Champion of the Year

Sally Creavin, Sheerness West Foundation

Kent Apprenticeship Assessor of the Year

Anthony Stockwell, Hadlow College, Tonbridge

Kent Teaching Assistant of the Year

Georgina Glithero, St Stephen’s Infant School, Canterbury

Kent School Business Manager of the Year

Claire Delahay, The Rowans Alternative Provision Academy, Chatham

Kent School Volunteer of the Year

Michelle Fleming, Borough Green Primary School, Sevenoaks

Kent Careers Advisor of the Year

Sarah Kendrick White, The Canterbury High School

Kent Sports Teacher of the Year

Rebecca Barr, Warren Wood Primary Academy, Rochester

Kent Technical/Vocational Teacher of the Year

Lucy Flack, North Kent College, Dartford

Kent ICT Champion of the Year

Matthew Tragheim, Wayfield Primary School, Chatham

Kent History Teacher of the Year

Rob Gray, The Norton Knatchbull School, Ashford

Kent Literacy Teacher of the Year

Karen Jackson, Riverview Infant School, Gravesend

Kent Business Studies Teacher of the Year

Michael Beacher, Meopham School, Gravesham

Kent Maths Teacher of the Year

Thomas Nyaku, Dartford Science and Technology College

Kent Trainee Teacher of the Year

Robert Houghton, Temple Ewell CEP School, Canterbury

Kent Newly-Qualified Teacher of the Year

Harriet Burrowes, St John’s CEP School, Canterbury

Kent Higher Education Teacher of the Year

Sancha de Búrca, Hadlow College, Tonbridge

Kent Support Staff of the Year

Rebecca Jones, The Rowans Alternative Provision Academy, Chatham

Kent Science Team of the Year

The Cornwallis Science Department, Cornwallis Academy, Maidstone

Kent Team of the Year

Reculver Whole School Team, Reculver CEP School, Herne Bay

Kent Primary School Teacher of the Year

Peter Hygate, Stowting CE Primary School, near Folkestone

Kent Secondary School Teacher of the Year

Garry Simmons, Wilmington Grammar School for Girls, Dartford

Kent Senior Leadership Team of the Year

Pete Talbot and the Leadership Team, Castle Hill Community Primary School, Folkestone

The District Winners 2019

ASHFORD: Top Teaching Assistant: Thierry Maillard (St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School); Top Primary School Teacher: Shirley MacCormack (East Stour Primary School); Top Business Studies Teacher: Darren Bailey (Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre); Top History Teacher: Rob Gray (The Norton Natchbull School); Top Head Teacher: Richard Billings (Towers School). 

CANTERBURY: Top Higher Education Teacher: Ruth Anderson (Canterbury College – EKC Group); Top School Volunteer: Judy Keay (The Canterbury Academy); Top Careers Advisor: Sarah Kendrick White (The Canterbury Academy); Top Business Manager: Sue Gray (Hampton Primary School); Top Team: Whole School Team (Reculver CofE Primary School; Top Newly-Qualified Teacher: Harriet Burrowes (St John’s CEP School): Top Teaching Assistant: Georgina Glithero (St Stephen’s Infant School). 

DARTFORD & GRAVESHAM: Top Wellbeing Champion: Anna Reid (Dartford Primary Academy); Top Maths Teacher: Thomas Nyaku (Dartford Science and Technology College); Top Further Education Technical/Vocational Teacher: Lucy Flack (North Kent College); Top Secondary School Teacher: Garry Simmons (Wilmington Grammar School for Girls); Top Business Studies Teacher: Michael Beacher (Meopham School); Top Literacy Teacher: Karen Jackson (Riverview Infant School); Top Trainee Teacher: Marta Narauskas (St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School); Top Primary School Teacher: Greg Ferris (Whitehill Primary School). 

DOVER: Top History Teacher: Shelley Birch (Dover Christ Church Academy); Top Head Teacher: Sheilagh Roberts (Sandwich Junior School); Top Further Education Apprenticeship Assessor: Daniel Ridge (Dover Technical College – EKC Group); Top Trainee Teacher: Robert Houghton (Temple Ewell CEP School). 

MAIDSTONE & MALLING: Top Maths Teacher of the YearPayam Jahanshahi (Cornwallis Academy); Top Science Team: Science Department (Cornwallis Academy); Top Further Education Technical/Vocational Teacher: Ellie Bentley (Maidstone Campus of Mid Kent College); Top Primary School Teacher: Heather Ormiston (Tiger Primary School); Top Wellbeing Champion: Cheryl Johnson (The Malling School). 

MEDWAY: Top Science Teacher of the Year: Jayne Ebun-Cole (Rainham Mark Grammar School); Top  Business Manager: Claire Delahay (The Rowans Alternative Provision Academy); Top Support Staff: Rebecca Jones (The Rowans Alternative Provision Academy); Top Primary School Teacher: Dale Jinman (Walderslade Primary School); Top Secondary School Teacher: Hanna Miller (Thinking Schools Academy Trust); Top Sports Teacher: Rebecca Barr (Warren Wood Primary Academy); Top I.T. Champion: Matthew Tragheim (Wayfield Primary School); Top School Volunteer: Tracey Moodie (Hempstead Junior School). 

FOLKESTONE, HYTHE & THANET: Top Primary School Senior Leadership Team: Pete Talbot and the Leadership Team (Castle Hill Community Primary School); Top Primary School Teacher: Peter Hygate (Stowting CE Primary School); Top Teaching Assistant: Michelle Lemar (The Beacon in Folkestone); Top Senior Leadership Team: SLT at The Beacon in Folkestone; Top Team: Justyna Urban and Julia Lamb from Shooting Stars Class (Drapers Mills Primary Academy). 

SWALE: Top Newly Qualified Teacher: Hannah Vaughan (Queenborough School and Nursery); Top I.T. Champion: Gemma Carter (Rose Street Primary School); Top Wellbeing Champion: Sally Creavin (Sheerness West Federation); Top Head Teacher: Sara Wakefield (St Edward’s Catholic Primary School).

 WEST KENT: Top School Volunteer: Michelle Fleming (Borough Green Primary School); Top Further Education Apprenticeship Assessor: Anthony Stockwell (Hadlow College); Top Higher Education Teacher: Sancha de Búrca (Hadlow College).