Colin Grainger

Dedicated head teachers are honoured in Newham


Six head teachers have been recognised for their dedication to Newham’s schools and pupils at the annual head teacher’s reception.

The reception held at Newham Dockside was an opportunity to celebrate the many successes of Newham’s schools and to say farewell to head teachers who are retiring or leaving Newham to take up new roles.
Departing head teachers included Christine Alexander, Linda Bryan, Ann Buckingham, Brian Lucey, Nina Panayis and Ruth Martin.

Collectively the head teachers had served almost 110 years in schools in Newham.
Christine Alexander has been head teacher at Colegrave Primary School for 37 years. She helped steer the primary school to the cusps of an outstanding Ofsted report after its recent inspection and ensured the school and its pupil’s extensive involvement in Olympics opportunities and events. The school was also praised by Ofsted for its teacher development programme.
Linda Bryan, head of Gainsborough Primary School for the last 12 years, has played an important part in shaping the borough’s approach on inclusion and special education needs. She also showed outstanding leadership to take the school to “good” in its last Ofsted inspection.
Ann Buckingham was the head of Park Primary School for 17 years and helped to transform it into a centre of creativity. The school specialised in both art and music and she shared the innovation and best practice with colleagues in other schools.
Brian Lucey has been a head teacher of two primary schools in Newham over the last 12 years.  He was head teacher at St Antony’s Primary school for five years and at St Winefride’s Primary School for another seven. During his time at St Winefride’s, he took the school to “outstanding” and at St Antony’s he has taken the school from “satisfactory” to a “high achieving good”.
A key aspect of his leadership has been his determination to improve pupils’ achievement.  He also sees the professional development of staff of key importance and this has proved to be a major factor in improvements at St Antony’s.
He has ensured that teaching provides pupils with rich and highly imaginative experiences based on creative thinking, making the school an exciting place for pupils to be.
Nina Panayis has been a head teacher at St James Junior School for the 13 years. Through her strong leadership, she took the school to “good” in its recent inspection, despite some very challenging circumstances. She was also previously honoured with the Pearson Teaching Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School whilst at Godwin Primary School.
The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching, founded in 1999 by Lord Puttnam, they recognize the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach.
Ruth Martin headship of the Royal Docks Community School for 17 years has seen her raise the quality of teaching across the school and recruit high-quality heads of department in mathematics, science and English to ensure these standards are maintained.
In addition, she has seen excellent results with the specialist persistent and multiple learning difficulties unit at the school.
Sir Robin Wales Mayor of Newham said: “We are ambitious for our young people and their education in Newham.  Schools are where our young people develop an understanding of the world and the resilience they need to succeed in it.

“Our teaching staff and head teachers are vital to ensuring this and that our children achieve.  I’d like to thank them for their dedication and drive.
“Their hard work has helped secure amazing results in our schools – Newham’s primary schools outperform the national average at SATS and Key Stage 2 and we outperform the national average at GCSE too.”
“We’ll continue to invest in giving children the best start in life through initiatives like our Newham every child programme.”

Pictured are: Sir Robin with Linda Bryan, Christine Alexander, Brian Lucey and Cllr Peppiatt

PIcture courtesy Newham Council

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This article was written on 19 Jul 2013, and is filed under community, East London, Education, Employment, Newham, Newham Council, Schools, Sir Robin Wales.

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