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Teacher shortlisted for secondary school ‘Teacher of the Year’ at the Pearson Teaching Awards

Tom Knott, maths teacher and Assistant Principal at The Totteridge Academy, has been shortlisted for ‘Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School’ in the upcoming Pearson Teaching Awards.

The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers across the country.  They were founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they teach.

Mr Knott was nominated for his instrumental role in transforming The Totteridge Academy’s maths provision, leading to significant improvements in student attainment. His award shortlist follows news earlier this term that the whole department had been shortlisted for ‘Maths Team of the Year’ in the TES Schools Awards, which similarly aims to celebrate excellence in teaching.

In 2016, before the academy joined United Learning, only 55% of students achieved a pass in their maths GCSE.  By 2017, following an intensive programme of intervention and changes in teaching and learning practice, 73% of students achieved at least a 4 – the equivalent of the old ‘C’ grade. Students are now making better progress than ever – including for higher attaining and Pupil Premium children – and the department’s Progress 8 score is now +1.14, which is well above the national average.

Students have fed back very positively on their experience of the new maths provision and of their pride in achieving better grades than they had thought possible.  One of Mr Knott’s students from last year’s Year 11 cohort said he had “motivated me to work all throughout this year” and that he had got the grade he was hoping for.

Another student said of Mr Knott:

“I'd like to thank you very much for getting my maths GCSE back on track and for honestly being the greatest maths teacher this school has seen and genuinely one of the nicest teachers we have.”

Chris Fairbairn, Principal at The Totteridge Academy, said of the award shortlist:

“This award shortlist is well deserved and recognises the incredible impact that Tom has had on his students’ futures and attitudes towards their learning.  We saw a tremendous improvement in just one year in our maths results, as well as results across the school and that was testament to the hard work of Tom and all his colleagues at The Totteridge Academy, as well as our students themselves. With this year’s exams underway, and with the same drive and determination that made the difference in 2017, we are very confident in another set of very strong GCSE results from students.”

Tom Knott said:

“It is a huge honour to have been nominated for such a prestigious award and it is a wonderful acknowledgement of the great things that are happening at The Totteridge Academy every day.  I am so proud to work with such an amazing team and particularly proud of the students who worked so hard last year and fully deserve the phenomenal results they achieved.”

In June, the Pearson Teaching Awards’ Silver Winners will be announced in celebrations in schools and colleges across the country, with a celebratory Tea at the House of Commons on 4th July.  The Gold Plato Awards Ceremony will take place in London in October and will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC.


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