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Top 10 Shortlist for World's Best School Prize for Supporting Healthy Lives

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Three inspirational London schools named in Top 10 shortlists for new $250,000 World’s Best School Prizes

  • The Totteridge Academy named in Top 10 shortlist for World’s Best School Prize for Supporting Healthy Lives

  • The London Academy of Excellence named in Top 10 shortlist for World’s Best School Prize for Supporting Healthy Lives

  • St Helen’s School named in Top 10 shortlist for World’s Best School Prize for Innovation

Three inspirational London schools have been named in the Top 10 shortlists for the new $250,000 World’s Best School Prizes, launched this year by T4 Education in partnership with Accenture and American Express. The London Academy of Excellence, a state Sixth Form school in Stratford, London, and the Totteridge Academy, a mixed secondary school in Barnet, London, have both been named in the Top 10 shortlist for World’s Best School Prize for Supporting Healthy Lives. And St Helen’s School, an independent all-girls school in Northwood, London, has been named in the Top 10 shortlist for the World’s Best School Prize for Innovation.

The five World’s Best School Prizes, founded by T4 Education in partnership with Accenture, American Express, Yayasan Hasanah, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and the Lemann Foundation, celebrate schools everywhere for the pivotal role they play in developing the next generation of learners and for their enormous contribution to society’s progress especially in the wake of COVID.

Vikas Pota, Founder of T4 Education and the World’s Best School Prizes, said:

“With over 1.5 billion learners impacted by school and university closures, COVID has greatly exacerbated a global education crisis in which, even before the pandemic, the UN warned progress was already too slow to achieve universal quality education by 2030.

“We have launched the World’s Best School Prizes as a grassroots solution to help build the systemic change needed. By telling the stories of inspirational schools that are transforming the lives of their students and making a real difference to their communities, schools can share their best practices and have their voices heard at the top table to help transform education.

“I want to congratulate the London Academy of Excellence, the Totteridge Academy, and St Helen’s School for making the Top 10 shortlists for the inaugural World’s Best School Prizes. Educators all over the world will now be able to learn from the examples of these outstanding London schools.”

About the schools:

The Totteridge Academy, a mixed secondary school in Barnet, London, has formed a partnership with local charity GROW to turn a disused field into 6-acre agroecological farm that it uses to grow produce for healthy school meals as well as for its subsidised and affordable veg box scheme for all. Working with GROW, the Totteridge Academy has developed a unique programme that allows students living in urban areas, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds,to learn sustainable food growing skills and to appreciate nature and the world around them.

The Totteridge Academy has a diverse student population, with 34% speaking English as second or third language and 46% coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. Grounded in a philosophy that takes inspiration from Kaizen – a Japanese term meaning ‘change for the better’ – the Totteridge Academy tries to instil the values of self-improvement and high ambition in its students and has seen results significantly improve in recent years.

Through its collaboration with GROW, students are able to develop knowledge of organic produce and that education model is incorporated alongside other subjects: in their science lessons, students learn about compost and decay; in food technology, the farm helps pupils understand about how seasonality impacts vegetation. The charity also has launched a 10-week early support programme designed to promote healthy living amongst vulnerable young people and over 100 Totteridge Academy students have participated to date. From timetabled mindfulness and yoga workshops, to an in-house forest school and ‘Mushroom Academy’, the opportunities that GROW has generated have become an integral part of the school’s fabric and have helped to improve student mental health.

Next steps:

The Top 3 finalists for each of the five World’s Best School Prizes - for Community Collaboration, Environmental Action, Innovation, Overcoming Adversity, and Supporting Healthy Lives - will be announced later this year. After a public advisory vote, the winner of each Prize will be chosen based on rigorous criteria by a Judging Academy comprising distinguished leaders all across the globe including academics, educators, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, government, civil society, and the private sector.

The winner will be announced in October 2022 at World Education Week. A prize of US$250,000 will be equally shared among the winners of the five Prizes, with each receiving an award of US$50,000.

All 50 shortlisted schools across the five Prizes will share their best practices through toolkits that showcase their “secret sauce” to innovative approaches and step-by-step instructions on how others can replicate their methods to help improve education everywhere.


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