WATCH: UK maths teacher named as finalist for $1m prize

Investment banker-turned-secondary teacher Jamie Frost is in the running for the $1m Global Teacher Prize

Claudia Civinini

Maths teacher Jamie Frost is on the shortlist for the Global Teacher Prize

A London maths teacher who set up a remote learning platform in his spare time has been named as a finalist in the Global Teacher Prize.

More than 12,000 teachers from around 140 countries entered the competition, the winner of which will receive $1 million (£865,000).

Jamie Frost, pictured, a teacher at boys' grammar Tiffin School, in Kingston upon Thames, has made the top 10, the only UK entrant to do so.


Background: Two UK teachers shortlisted for Global Teacher Prize

Last year: British PSHE teacher up for Global Teacher Prize

WATCH: Kenya's Peter Tabichi wins $1m Global Teacher Prize


Mr Frost studied at the University of Oxford, where he won a prize from Microsoft for his undergraduate dissertation. He later worked for an investment bank, developing trading algorithms.

But teaching was always on the cards for him.

Mr Frost said: "I went to work for an investment bank – it was quite a glamorous lifestyle…but my job was pretty soul-destroying and I just felt like a tiny cog in a big wheel."

After realising that he had an interest in the teaching profession, he arranged to spend a few weeks observing classes at his old school, which proved to be a turning point in his career.

Going for the Global Teacher Prize

Mr Frost said: "Just when I was in the classroom in front of students I realised I absolutely loved it. I resigned within a week from my job, and that was what decided it.

"Ten years ago I was developing technology for artificial intelligence and robotics. Now I use technology to help students improve in their learning and to help me become a better teacher.

"I just love working with students. When I compare [teaching] to my previous days in investment banking, I wouldn’t have anything else really."

However, as well as teaching his own students, he has also developed a website for maths tuition called DrFrostMaths, providing a free learning platform with teaching resources, videos and a bank of practice exam questions.

The platform has grown to reach 1.3 million visitors a day and attracts donations to keep the service free.

Actor, comedian and writer Stephen Fry created a tribute to Jamie’s work, illustrating his achievements. He concluded: Congratulations, Jamie, and thank you for everything you do."

WATCH: Stephen Fry congratulates Global Teacher Prize finalist Jamie Frost

 

Established by the Varkey Foundation, the Global Teacher Prize, in partnership with Unesco, is now in its sixth year. 

Congratulating Mr Frost, Stefania Giannini, assistant director general for education at Unesco, said: I hope his story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also highlight the incredible work teachers do all over the UK and throughout the world every day.

“The Global Teacher Prize helps put the teacher voice at the heart of our mission to champion inclusive learning opportunities for children and young people all over the world, especially the most marginalised and disadvantaged, during this sudden and unprecedented disruption to global education.

“Since the coronavirus pandemic first emerged, we have seen 1.5 billion learners across the world impacted by school and university closures.

"But not all learners are being impacted equally. Governments must act decisively to close the digital divide in education exposed by Covid-19 and find solutions to deliver effective remote education for the 706 million learners who do not have access to the internet.”

Mr Frost joins South African teacher Mokhudu Cynthia Machaba, US teacher Leah Juelke and South Korean teacher Yun Jeong-hyun as a top 10 finalist.

The remaining six finalists will be announced one each week in the run-up to the Global Teacher Prize ceremony, which will be held on 3 December, virtually for the very first time in its history due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ceremony will also include a special recognition for one teacher – a "Covid hero" – who has gone above and beyond to keep young people learning during the pandemic.

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Claudia Civinini

Claudia Civinini

Find me on Twitter @claudiacivinini

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