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


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.

Reading Well for Children Collection

The NEW Reading Well for Children Collection has launched this week. Originally known colloquially as Books on Prescription, Reading Well for Children recommends reading to help children understand their feelings and worries and cope with tough times. The books cover themes such as emotions, bereavement, worry and bullying. The books have been chosen by children, carers, health experts and librarians. They are endorsed by leading health organisations such as NHS England, Mind and the Royal College of GPs.

The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11) and includes a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers. The book list can be viewed here.

This collection acts as an accompaniment to the Shelf Help Collection that launched a few years back and was aimed at teenagers.

These books are available in all Portsmouth Libraries and Pat Garrett from the Library Service can supply copies of the official leaflet which lists the books and explains the collection to schools upon request. She can also supply A4 posters for school libraries.

A Powerpoint presentation explaining the collection for the purposes of staff meetings and training is also available upon request.

For further information contact Pat Garrett at [email protected] or 023 9268 8259.

Inspectors praise support for children in Portsmouth who need mental health support

Organisations across Portsmouth have been praised for their support for children who need mental health support as well as those suffering from abuse, neglect and exploitation. In December 2019, Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), HMI Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and HMI Probation (HMI Prob) carried out a Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) of the agencies involved in providing support to children in Portsmouth.

Schools, the NHS, the police, the council and voluntary organisations are particularly commended for working closely together in a strong partnership, for their learning culture and for their innovation and creativity, helping to ensure that children in Portsmouth are receiving the emotional well-being and mental health services they need. The quality and flexibility of the specialist mental health service, Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), is highlighted, as is the effective response to children presenting to the A&E department at the QA Hospital. Hampshire Police were commended for their commitment and understanding of children’s needs and for responding in an appropriate way. It was noted that public resources were being used efficiently through good joint commissioning of services.

Derek Benson, chair of Portsmouth Children’s Safeguarding Partnership, said: “Overall we are very pleased with the outcome of the recent inspection of the effectiveness of the city’s approach to children who need mental health support. The report praises the support provided to children from a strong partnership across schools, the NHS, the police, the council and the voluntary sector. This is a testament to the way different organisations supporting children and young people in Portsmouth, including our strong local CAMHS service, work together to make a difference every day. The inspection highlighted areas where we need to improve and we know we must n never be complacent. We will continue to work closely with children and their families to improve services further to ensure they get the support they need.”

The report identifies ways in which services could be further improved, including a consistent focus during planning and assessment of services on how they impact on children at the point of delivery.

The full report can be found here.

All aboard! Apprenticeship bus inspires next generation with exciting futures

Amazing opportunities in a wide range of apprenticeships await secondary school students aboard the apprenticeship bus from 4 – 6 February as part of National Apprenticeship Week. This year, the bus will be arriving at schools across the city for an additional day.

The initiative is led by Shaping Portsmouth and other partners including The University of Portsmouth, The Solent Apprenticeship Hub and Stagecoach. The bus was first launched in 2018 with the mission to inspire secondary school children to consider apprenticeships as an alternative after education.

Exciting Project for Developing Curriculum Materials

As you may be aware there are exciting plans for Tipner West Regeneration. We are really keen to involve schools and would like to see some curriculum materials developed around the project.

We would like to work with some SLEs and/ or other strong teachers to develop some curriculum resources locally and then potentially engage with a publisher at a later stage.

Ideally this would involve both primary and secondary colleagues and would look to cover a number of curriculum areas, geography, science, engineering and maths are obvious ones, but it could potentially go broader than that too. There will be an initial workshop to find out more, discuss the project plans and scope the potential of this work.

The workshop will take place on Wednesday 29th January 4-5.30pm, Conference Room B, Civic Offices.

Depending on the level of interest and availability, we would look to commission a number of teachers to work both individually and collaboratively to develop (and potentially pilot) some resources.

If you are interested in finding out more or to confirm your attendance at the workshop please contact Sarah Christopher 07825 492712  [email protected]