Portsmouth Guildhall auditorium

Update on Teach Portsmouth Awards 2020

The Teach Portsmouth team have been working hard to find a way to put on the event however due to COVID-19 we’ve had to rethink our plans. In light of the pandemic, we’ve taken the decision to reschedule the event for 12 March 2021 at Portsmouth Guildhall.

We recognise the importance of celebrating the incredible efforts of colleagues across Portsmouth as you continue to support key worker and vulnerable children during this time. While we’ve postponed this year’s event, we wanted to update you on our plans as we move forward.

At this stage, we’re still working out some of the finer details however we can confirm the following:

  • The annual competition will be postponed alongside the October awards ceremony. A decision will be taken in the autumn term about the competition and what form this could take.
  • A celebratory event recognising those who have worked in the city for 20 years or more will go ahead in October. Nominations for the long service award will open on 13 July on the Teach Portsmouth website. The deadline for nominations for the long service award is 6 September.
  • Other award categories will open on World Teacher Day (Monday 5 October) at 9am. This year, all nominations will be completed online through a special awards form. Nominations close on 30 November.

Capturing the creative spirit of Portsmouth

We want to showcase the efforts of colleagues across the city at the awards next year in a special highlights reel shown at the ceremony.

From playground art to dance offs at home, we want to show the creativity of everyone during the pandemic. Any video you send must be in a MOV or MP4 format. Images can be JPEG or PNG.

Don’t forget – the Teach Portsmouth team must have the correct permissions. You can download a Portsmouth City Council release form and usage details that cover how the images and videos will be used. Please send your release form and content to [email protected].


What are the categories?

If you would like to start preparing your entries ahead of the 5 October when online nominations open, you can. Just remember: we need to know the nominee name and the supporting statement which must be 200 words or less per nominee. We are unable to accept whole school nominations. The categories for the awards are:

  • Innovation in Teaching Award

This award goes to those staff (individuals or teams) who have developed new approaches / innovative practices that has had a positive impact on teaching and learning. Nominations should include a short description on the approaches they took and outline how this impacted student life.

  • Creativity Award

This award goes to those staff (individuals or teams) who have developed new approaches / adapted teaching methods that go beyond the conventional curriculum, which support creative thinking and provide opportunities for all pupils to expand their creativity. Nominations should include a short description of the approaches used and outline how this has affected student life.

  • Inclusion and Diversity Award

Inclusion is a strength of many of the schools in the city. We have some amazing Inclusion Teams who embed inclusive practice on a day to day basis as part of their roles. This award celebrates the work of those staff (individuals or teams) through implementing a strategy over time or working on a particular project, which has made a difference to inclusive practice and celebrating diversity. Nomination should include an outline of the project / strategy and outline how it has affected pupils, staff and the wider school community from one of more of the protected characteristics:

  • SEN or Disability including SEMH
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy and maternity

(Limited to 1 small team or individual only)

  • Wellbeing Award

This award is to celebrate the work of staff who have developed approaches or initiatives in the school to improve the emotional and physical health and wellbeing of pupils and / or staff. Nominations should include an outline of the strategies implemented and the impact that they have had on pupil and/or staff wellbeing.

(Limited to 1 small team or individual only)

  • Community and Collaboration Award

This award is to celebrate the work of teams or an individual in the school that has made a significant impact on the local community. Nominations should include an outline of the work done and how it has affected the community. Nominations in this category should be supported by a brief testimony from the community.

(Limited to 1 small team or individual only)

  • Partnership Award

The Partnership Award criteria requires two organisations or partners who have worked together on a project or initiative. This is different from the Community and Collaboration Award as this award highlights an individual or small team who have made a difference in their organisation and have not worked with a third party.

(Two organisations/partners must be nominated together.)

  • Unsung Hero Award

This award celebrates the members of the whole school community who rarely get a mention and are never in the limelight but who are invaluable to the school and who have a record of outstanding contributions. Nominations should outline the contribution that the nominee makes to the school and the impact of their work.

For this category, please be mindful of workload issues and the need to ensure that we are not encouraging or celebrating a climate that increases


(Individuals only)

  • Outstanding Contribution Award

This award recognises the sustained and substantial impact of the nominee on the education of children and young people in Portsmouth. Nominations should include a short outline of the career of the nominee and the difference that they have made over time.

For this category, the nominee’s careers may include work beyond Portsmouth with no specific “length of service restriction” but the panel will be looking for significant impact on education in Portsmouth.

(Individuals only)

  • Long Service Awards (Online form opens in July)

This award is to celebrate the staff in our schools who have served in Portsmouth for 20 years or more, providing outstanding service during this time. All nominated staff will receive an award for this achievement.

(Individuals only)

You can draft out your application ahead of 5 October if you know who to pick. Download a Word template ready to copy and paste entries into our online form.




A new resource designed to inspire future teachers has launched, aimed at those considering their career options. With many people working from home and looking after children due to school closures, the Teach Portsmouth news hub provides the information needed to start a career as a teacher regardless of industry or background.

Through a range of inspirational content pieces designed to offer a realistic picture of teaching locally, the news hub highlights the breadth of opportunities available in Portsmouth.

Those interested can find information on how to apply for teacher training, interviews from Portsmouth-based teachers and case studies from local providers.

Cllr Suzy Horton welcomed the launch of the news hub: “There are so many heart-warming stories from teachers waiting to be told. The Teach Portsmouth news hub will be the best place to locate news, inspirational stories and interviews from those who matter most – our teachers.”

“With COVID-19 impacting our daily lives, it’s more important than ever before we celebrate the positive stories coming out of our community at this time. If they inspire someone to consider teaching, then that’s fantastic.”

The launch of the news hub coincides with the ‘your time to teach’ campaign designed to reassure local residents that teacher training continues for September. Initial teacher training providers have shown their support for such a resource.

Cate Worrall, principal of Portsmouth Primary SCITT (School centred initial teacher training) backed the launch of the news hub: “This year, we’ve reaffirmed the immeasurable impact teachers make on the whole of society. We are happy to support the Teach Portsmouth news hub and any opportunity to showcase the inspirational stories coming out of Portsmouth at this time.”

The Teach Portsmouth news hub will offer weekly content updates including video interviews, frequently asked questions and topical pieces suitable for those who are new to the profession or those who have recently qualified.

Lynn Nicholls, Schools Direct Leader at Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance supported such an essential resource: “We are proud that Portsmouth residents train to teach with us and become extraordinary teachers in local schools. Trainees always talk about how welcoming the teaching community is in the city. Having the Teach Portsmouth news hub is going to be a brilliant way to see and acknowledge the work teachers do and the difference they make.”

For more information on teacher training in the city as well as inspirational content, visit teachportsmouth.co.uk/news


Teacher Workload and Retention Conference

Senior school leaders have been invited to a brand new conference in the city to reduce teacher workload and improve retention rates.

Held at the University of Portsmouth on Thursday 5 March, delegates were inspired by real life case studies presented by Ofsted’s national director of education, Sean Harford. Senior leaders also offered their experience on workload reduction strategies.

Responding to a recent Department for Education report that highlights workload as one of the barriers to teacher recruitment, the conference invited delegates to shares ideas and practices on how to support teachers in the city.

The event was organised by Portsmouth Education Partnership and supported by Portsmouth City Council.

Alongside Sean Harford, Judith Rutherford, national leader of governance and advocate for effective school governance arrangements discussed her experience with the impact of workload on headteachers and senior leadership teams. She spoke about practical steps schools and colleges can take to improve staff wellbeing overall.

Afterwards, delegates had the opportunity to review real life case studies with practical solutions identified during round table discussions.

Cllr Suzy Horton explained the significance of such an event: “The Teacher Workload and Retention Conference is a positive step towards understanding how we can improve the wellbeing of education professionals in the city.”

“It’s fantastic to see practical steps being taken to create a school culture that reduces workload and supports the well-being of those who work in Portsmouth schools and colleges.”

Sean Harford, Ofsted’s national director of education reaffirmed his commitment to tackling teacher workload and retention: “Teachers are a school’s most important asset and it’s vital that we all work together to make the job of teaching an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. That’s how we will keep on improving education for the country’s pupils.”

Conference slides

Slides from the conference are available to view here, along with the speaker’s notes.

A presentation by Sean Harford, Ofsted’s national director of education can be viewed here.

Looking for Volunteers?

At the end of January Portsmouth’s Volunteering Hub (Portsmouth Together) will be holding a Volunteering Fair across three days at the Tesco Extra in Fratton Way. This will be a fantastic opportunity to recruit local volunteers to your school. Over the last year we have worked with Portsmouth Together to recruit over 20 new governors, and we can also use the event to promote other opportunities e.g. listening to children read. There is no obligation to accept all volunteers – an informal interview and/or trial period can be part of the agreement, and volunteers would be expected to undertake a DBS check where appropriate.  

To promote a volunteering opportunity at your school please provide brief information on:

  • The role – what you are looking for the volunteer to do
  • When they will be needed – e.g. weekly, monthly, and also if there is a regular day of the week/ time of day you need someone
  • Any specific skills and experience you are looking for, or that no specific skills are required

Please can you send this to [email protected] so that I can get the responses collated into an information sheet for distribution at the event.

Alison Critchley

Winners celebrate success at Teach Portsmouth Awards evening

The contribution of teachers from across Portsmouth was celebrated at a glittering awards ceremony at the Gaiety Bar on South Parade Pier on Friday 4 Oct.

On behalf of Portsmouth Educational Partnership, Portsmouth City Council hosted the second annual Teach Portsmouth award ceremony to recognise those inspirational and hardworking teachers who excelled in the nine categories of outstanding progress, creativity, innovation, community, inclusion, wellbeing, partnership, unsung hero and overall achievement.

Laura Nerssessian from Trafalgar School won the outstanding progress award. She has achieved outstanding results for her GCSE classes, securing progress grades which put the students in the top 5% of the country for both grades 5-9 and 7-9. The department is one of the two top performing departments in the school and Laura’s passion for teaching and learning is continuously driving the department forward. Laura’s aspirational goals for the students have been key in motivating and supporting them to achieve above and beyond.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “It was a real privilege to share in the celebrations for our motivational and dedicated teachers tonight and I congratulate them all. The quality of candidates for the awards was superb and the winners must be very proud to know that they are held in such high regard by their pupils and peers.”

With almost 80 Lifetime Achievement Awards presented for teachers with over twenty years services, the winners of the other categories were as follows:

  • Outstanding progress – Laura Nerssessian from Trafalgar School
  • Creativity – Mrs Griggs and the Upper Junior Team at St George’s School
  • Innovation – 11 by 11 at Ark Dickens School
  • Community – The School Council at College Park School
  • Wellbeing – Jeanette Leavers from Castle View
  • Inclusion – Helen Merel at Lyndhurst School
  • Partnership – Reading resilience volunteers at the Youth Chaplaincy
  • Unsung Hero – Charmaine Caruana at Copnor School
  • Overall Achievement – joint winners Steve Labedz, Natalie Sheppard, Debbie Anderson and Polly Honeychurch

As the finale to Teach Portsmouth week – in which schools took part in a variety of activities from Teach the Parents, tutor group takeovers – the event prompted children and schools to put forward more than 100 nominees, demonstrating just how valued teachers are across the city.

As a further celebration of teachers in Portsmouth, on 29 – 31 October, in half term week, the winners of the ‘My Teacher on a Postcard’ competition will be shown in an exhibition at The Hive in Portsmouth Central Library. Children and their families will be able to visit the free event. The competition saw over 2,000 entries being submitted in a visible and moving demonstration of the regard in which pupils hold their teachers.

2019/20 Portsmouth Governor Training Programme

Have you seen our new training offer for governors at Portsmouth maintained schools and Academies? See the full governor training programmewhich includes a wide variety of both free and paid for sessions, and reserve a place via the traded services website or by emailing [email protected]

3 Leadership Opportunities Available

I am pleased to be able to inform you about three exciting leadership opportunities that are available to Portsmouth’s schools, two of which are free and the other heavily subsidised, details of which are given below.  All are available on a first come first serve basis.

Teaching Leaders: free Middle Leadership Development Programme in Portsmouth

As a result of a successful bid to the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF), ASL is able to offer to all Portsmouth’s schools on a first come first served basis a two year leadership development programme for high potential middle leaders looking to improve pupil outcomes and close the achievement gaps for disadvantaged children across their area of responsibility.  They will be supported to increase their impact as a leader through a blended learning approach. The programme is due to commence in August 2019. Further details of the programme are attached together with contact details : Future Leader – Value of Programme – flyer

Future Leaders: subsidised Leadership Development Programme for aspiring Heads

A number of schools in Portsmouth (list attached) are eligible for ASL’s subsidised Future Leaders programme which is a selective two year programme for those aspiring to headship working in schools in challenging contexts.  The total cost is £1,000 per year and details of the programme are attached. The deadline to register your interest is 27th November 2018:  Future Leader – Value of Programme – flyer

Career Leaders: free six month programme for Careers Leaders

ASL, in partnership with The Careers and Enterprise Company have launched a new Careers Leadership Programme focusing on developing the leadership skills of careers leaders to successfully implement a whole-schools careers strategy that directly supports young people in making informed choices about their future.  The six month programme provides an enhanced development experience and gives participants access their network of thousands of school leaders facing similar challenges. There is no charge for this programme and schools receive a bursary upon completion of the programme. All training takes place outside school hours. The deadline to register your interest is 21st December 2018.  Details about the programme are attached:   Career Leaders

Please contact Vanessa Idika if you are interested in any of the above at [email protected]. 07908 126157 or 020 3906 8661.

Success at Teacher Recruitment Fair 20.01.18

Over 130 people looking for a career in teaching attended our recruitment event at Portsmouth College on Saturday 20 January 2018. The event featured many of the schools, academy groups and colleges from across the city that are looking to recruit, as well as teacher training organisations and agencies that can help anyone wanting to start or return to a career in teaching.

Cllr Hannah Hockaday, Cabinet Member for Education at Portsmouth City Council said: “It was wonderful to see so many people at the event who are interested in teaching in Portsmouth.  The shortage of teachers is a continuing challenge and the rise in pupil numbers means that we need more teachers than ever.  Portsmouth is a fantastic place to teach, with inspiring school leaders, lots of opportunity for training and development, and a chance to really open up opportunities for children and young people in a city which has a great future.”

The next Teacher Recruitment Fair will take place in June.