TES Schools Awards shortlist 2010

2nd April 2010 at 01:00
Anyone who claims UK schools are in decline, too uniform or unimaginative would do well to sift through the hundreds of inspirational entries we received.

Although only in the second year, the TES Schools Awards - or Tessas - attracted a staggeringly high quality of nominations for the 15 categories. In each category we were not looking simply for schools or initiatives rated outstanding by inspectors. What we wanted was that extra spark - creativity, originality and passion.

Many attributes united the schools. It was heartening to see so many fundraising for Haiti. Several individuals shone out, ranging from caretakers to headteachers, one of whom will win the Lifetime Achievement Award.

However, what separates the Tessas from other educational accolades is that they recognise it takes a team to transform a school and give pupils the best education possible.

On these pages, some schools are named in the category introductions - but do not read anything into this. The final judging has yet to take place. Winners will be announced at a lunch at the Grosvenor Hotel, London, on June 17. We hope to see many of you there.
Michael Shaw, Comment Editor


  • Lent Rise Primary, Slough
  • Latchmere Primary, Kingston on Thames, Surrey
  • Maltby Crags Infant School, Rotherham
  • Old Palace Primary, Tower Hamlets, London
  • St Mirin's Primary, Glasgow
  • St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary, Salford, Manchester
    • Several of these shortlisted primary schools have shown extraordinary improvements in their results - often with some of the UK's most challenging pupils.

      St Thomas of Canterbury knocked down walls to double the size of its classrooms, Lent Rise got every class to run its own business, while Latchmere has introduced a "feelings register" to keep track of its pupils' well-being.

      A sense that the staff at these schools worked as teams also came across strongly. At St Mirin's, for example, all the support staff share their personal talents with the children in special "golden time" sessions.


      • Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Altrincham, Cheshire
      • De La Salle Humanities College, Croxteth, Liverpool
      • St John Plessington Catholic College, Wirral
      • Chafford Hundred, Essex
      • Bishop Challoner Collegiate School, Tower Hamlets, London
      • St Ninian's High, Glasgow
        • One of the finalists is an all-boys comprehensive in Croxteth, Liverpool, an area infamous for gang culture and drug-related shootings. Another is a girls' grammar school in a leafy suburb.

          These two schools - De La Salle Humanities College and Altrincham Grammar for Girls - might seem to have almost nothing in common, and their pupils could hardly be more different. Yet they appear on this list next to each other because they have both brought about incredible changes - as have all the schools on this shortlist.

          These schools also all demonstrated bucket-loads of innovation - and many went on beyond their gates to help others. St John Plessington College was not the only one on the shortlist to step in to help another, less successful school, while improving its own work.


          • Wennington Hall, Lancaster
          • Kersland School, Paisley, Renfrewshire
          • St Christopher's School, Wrexham, north Wales
          • Fosse Way School, Radstock, Bath amp; North East Somerset
          • Mary Hare School, Newbury, Berkshire
          • Voyager PRU, Totnes, Devon
            • The standard of entries for this category was particularly high, which made choosing the final six extremely difficult. These are all schools which not just cater for the often difficult-to-meet needs of their pupils, but have also developed original, often ground-breaking ways to do it.

              Wennington Hall - where pupils can only gain a place if they request it personally - was described by Ofsted as "life affirming". It is a phrase we think could describe all of the schools and units on this shortlist.


              • Ardleigh Green Junior School, Hornchurch, Essex
              • Bishop Challoner Collegiate, Tower Hamlets, London
              • Roundhay School, Leeds
              • St Mary's RC Primary, Preston
              • St Michael's Primary amp; Glenmanor Primary, Glasgow
              • Thornleigh Salesian, Bolton
                • We received many inspirational entries for this category, but these six stood out.

                  Among them was Bishop Challoner Collegiate, a Catholic comprehensive in one of the most deprived areas of Western Europe, which now manages youth work in a predominantly Bengali and Muslim part of London.


                  • Chenderit School, Banbury, Oxfordshire
                  • Christ the Redeemer Primary, Belfast
                  • Hawksmoor Primary, Thamesmead, London
                  • Poole Grammar School, Dorset
                  • Stockport local authority (Fit 4 Reading and Fit 4 Figures)
                  • Falconbrook Primary, Battersea, London
                    • How do you get boys excited about reading? How do you fix your approach to maths teaching if you realise it has been muddling the pupils? All these questions and more were addressed by these shortlisted initiatives.

                      This category saw a rare nomination for a local authority: Stockport, which developed its Fit 4 Reading and Fit 4 Figures scheme in which Year 10 pupils coach Year 7 children in sport before breakfast and then help to mentor them in literacy and numeracy sessions.

                      GOVERNORS OF THE YEAR

                      • Fairfields Special School, Northampton
                      • Whitley Park Infant and Nursery, Reading
                      • Woodside High, Wood Green, London
                      • Eastbrook Comprehensive, Dagenham


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