‘Inspiring’ teachers scoop top awards at Mayfair ceremony

Ann Armstrong of All Saints Catholic School receives her award. Picture: MARTIN APPS

Ann Armstrong of All Saints Catholic School receives her award. Picture: MARTIN APPS - Credit: SUBMITTED by Martin Apps

Two ‘inspiring’ teachers have scooped gongs at a capital-wide award ceremony for their hard work and dedication to young people.

Ann Armstrong from All Saints in Dagenham was named wellbeing champion of the year for the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Greenwich as well as overall London winner.

Simon Abeledo of Rush Green Primary won the award for headteacher of the year for both boroughs.

A delighted Ann said: "It's amazing, I'm very proud. What made it really special is we had people from the whole profession there on the night."

And Simon, a headteacher of 13 years' experience, commented: "It was lovely to be nominated and a nice surprise, though I did think it was a wind up when I first heard about it!"

Former city worker Ann, who changed profession when she had children, works with youngsters who have behaviour difficulties and making sure they are safe.

"It's not easy," the 62-year-old trained PE and humanities teacher said. "But when you see a family or child come through the other side relatively unscathed and coming out of trouble it feels amazing."

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Simon, who had two reasons to celebrate after turning 50 last Friday, admitted that not many people knew about his award.

"I'm not one for fuss," he said.

He explained how he was inspired to enter the profession by his former headteacher who took him under his wing as a child telling him he could do anything he wanted to if he put his mind to it.

A message echoed in Rush Green's school motto: strive to succeed.

Clare Cantle, All Saints headteacher, said: "We and so many of our pupils thank Ann for all she does.

"She is a bastion of resilience and integrity for all in our school as she does her best each day to improve the outcomes and right the wrongs for those in our care."

Education charity, London Teacher, organised the awards which were handed out at the Mayfair headquarters of the Royal Aeronautical Society on June 14.

Its chief executive, Simon Dolby, said: "All of the winners thoroughly deserved their awards.

"These teachers and support staff do amazing work expanding the horizons and opportunities of young people across the capital. Society owes them a huge debt."

Cllr Evelyn Carpenter, cabinet member for school improvement and educational attainment added: "I was delighted when I heard the news that two of our teachers had been named winners.

"Many congratulations to these inspiring teachers and the warmest of thanks for the hard work they put in on a daily basis to provide the best education for our young people."