On Friday, United Learning celebrated its annual Best in Everyone Awards with a special online presentation to recognise the achievements of students and staff across the Group.
Each year, the Best in Everyone Awards commend the standout academic, musical and sporting successes of students and staff across the country, as well as the impressive efforts of teams and inspirational individuals. This means that, alongside subject-specific awards, there are awards for Young Hero of the Year, Leadership and Service, and the prestigious Pupil of the Year and School Leader of the Year.
With over 400 nominations sent in, the judging panel had the challenging task of deciding the winners. From the hundreds of impressive submissions, the panel, made up of members of United Learning’s Executive and Senior Team, chose the final 40 winners based on their notable hard work, dedication and enthusiasm.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s ceremony took place virtually rather than as part of a live event. Each winner was announced via a special video on Twitter, personalised to include a message of congratulations from their school’s Head Teacher or the member of staff who nominated them. Schools across the country, as well as family members and friends, were then able to share these moving and engaging videos, and join together in celebrating the winners from home.
Sir Jon Coles, Chief Executive of United Learning, said:
“Over the past eight years, our Best in Everyone Awards have celebrated exceptional individuals and teams in schools across our Group who have truly embodied our core values of ambition, confidence, creativity, respect, enthusiasm and determination. This year, in light of the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in, we wanted to ensure that the successes of our inspiring students and staff continued to be recognised on this national stage.
“Our online celebration was an excellent opportunity for our note-worthy winners to join together virtually with peers and colleagues and take great pride in their achievements. Congratulations to everyone who took home an award and to all of our nominees for their fantastic efforts.”
Dinglian Chen, a student at Kettering Buccleuch Academy, who won the Pupil of the Year Award for Years 10-13 said:
“I am extremely grateful for all the help I have received from the school. Without the school's help, I wouldn't have gotten to where I am now. I also want to thank Miss Rao for nominating me, and all the help the Sixth Form team has been giving me.”
Sarvish Sohan, a student at United Sixth Form, who won the Leadership and Service Award for Years 10-13, said:
“I felt privileged to be selected for such an important and life changing award. I knew from the beginning that there would be a lot of competition and that it would be challenging to get such an extraordinary award, but when I heard that I won it, I was over the moon and I definitely felt proud.”
Sammy Kempner, a Maths teacher at The Totteridge Academy, who won Inspirational Teacher of the Year, said:
“It is an honour to receive this award. I would like to thank The Totteridge Academy, and particularly the Maths department, for teaching me so much in the three years I have been there. Any successes I have had are thanks largely to them. I only hope I continue to improve, so I can contribute to making our school community an ever more inclusive and inspirational place to be.”
Another winning staff member was Frank McCarron, who took home the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for the exceptional leadership he has shown during his time at Stockport Academy. Since joining the academy in 2012, Frank has spearheaded significant improvements, helping the school to become one of the top three performers for Progress 8 in Stockport. Frank has been a role model to staff and students alike, both at Stockport Academy and in his role as an Executive Headteacher of several United Learning northern academies. He is now set to take a well-deserved retirement.
A commemorative video celebrating all of this year’s winners will soon be released showcasing the hard work, commitment and breadth of talent across the Group. United Learning is set to hold its annual Best in Everyone Awards in 2021 which will recognise those staff and students who have made a particularly Outstanding Contribution to their school or local community during the COVID-19 pandemic.