People's choice award winner

Inspirational head teacher wins people’s choice award thanks to local residents

An inspirational head teacher has been recognised by his local community in an annual awards ceremony for teachers with a surprise trophy giving at his school.

Local residents have recognised head teacher, Ashley Howard for his efforts to support pupils and their families during the pandemic which included delivering food parcels and acting as a crossing patrol person when a colleague was feeling unwell.

The surprise event was held in front of pupils and staff in the school playground. Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council who presented the award said:

“The people’s choice award has given Portsmouth an opportunity to applaud staff for their efforts during the last two academic years. Those who work in schools and colleges have gone above and beyond in so many ways.

“The response was overwhelming. Ashley received the biggest share of nominations by far. It was only right that we congratulated Ashley in front of his colleagues and pupils as a way to recognise everything he has achieved.”

With school and college staff working at a pace to provide COVID secure environments for pupils, the impact of their actions has often been immeasurable. Parents and governors have praised their efforts during a period of rapid change. While staff see this as part of their job, local residents view these actions differently as going above and beyond the call of duty.

The people’s choice category has given school and college communities a voice by allowing them to nominate a teacher, learning support assistant or head teacher who has supported them throughout the pandemic.

Teach Portsmouth, part of Portsmouth City Council promote the recruitment and retention of teachers in the city. Every year, an awards ceremony for the city’s education workforce are held to celebrate their achievements.

Mark Waldron, editor of The News who was present for the award giving as sponsor said:

“The News has supported the Teach Portsmouth Awards since it was created. This year, we were given the opportunity to sponsor the people’s choice award, allowing the city to tell us who deserved a collective thank you.

“Ashley Howard is a very worth winner. While he is very humble, his efforts to support the community have not gone unnoticed.”

During the pandemic, Ashley supported parents and carers in all manner of situations, even stepping into the role of a lollipop person. One parent said:

“Mr Howard has gone above and beyond during the pandemic to support and encourage the school community with great YouTube videos and resources which have helped with at home learning. He always ensures the safety of pupils, even stepping in as lollipop person when a colleague was feeling unwell.”

Local residents were asked to submit a supporting statement to explain why their nominee deserved the award. Examples included those delivering food parcels during lockdown, school staff calling home to ensure their pupils were okay and supporting parents with at home learning.

Ashley Howard, head teacher at Highbury Primary School reflected on winning the award:

“I would like to say a huge thank you to the local community for nominating me for the people’s choice award. It is an amazing feeling to be recognised.

“While the award has my name on it, I want people to know that it is recognition of all of our efforts as a school. Whether that’s our learning and teaching team or our amazing pupils, this is an award for all of us.”

As part of The Teach Portsmouth Awards Live ceremony, a special film was created to capture the award giving at Highbury Primary School. To watch the virtual awards, visit

Teach Portsmouth Awards Live

Superstar teachers shine bright at Teach Portsmouth Awards Live ceremony

A virtual awards ceremony in Portsmouth for the city’s superstar teachers has revealed the winners in 8 award categories on Thursday 8 July. Due to COVID-19, this year’s event was held on Zoom video conferencing.

Teachers, learning support assistants and head teachers have gone above and beyond to support the city’s children, young people and families during the pandemic. The awards ceremony has showcased school and college staff in categories such as innovation in teaching, community and collaboration, outstanding achievement and more.

Their impact on Portsmouth has been immeasurable. Examples include teachers calling home to check on pupils during lockdown, introducing technology at a pace for learning online as well as delivering food parcels to those in need.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“It’s fantastic to see so many colleagues being recognised for their immense efforts during the pandemic. While there isn’t a specific category for COVID-19, each nominee featured in the shortlist went above and beyond to support their community during this time.

“While the winners deserve praise and recognition, it’s important to realise that everyone who works in schools and colleges in Portsmouth all deserve a collective round of applause. You are all superstars.”

Prior to the virtual event, entries were reviewed by a shortlisting panel. The people’s choice award was the only category to allow local residents to nominate a teacher, learning support assistant or head teacher who had gone above and beyond the call of duty during the pandemic. This category was judged on the amount of entries per nominee to work out a winner.

The Teach Portsmouth Awards Live celebrated the immense efforts of those who work in education settings in a virtual ceremony, hosted by broadcaster, Reverend Richard Coles.

The winners were announced at the awards ceremony in the following categories:

  • Innovation in teaching award (Sponsored by: Portsmouth College)
    • Ben Currier – Combined subject leader for international languages – Mayfield School
  • Creativity award – (Sponsored by: Thinking Schools Academy Trust)
    • Year one team – Bramble Infant School and Nursery
  • Unsung hero award (Sponsored by: Express FM)
    • Rebecca Britti – Curriculum lead for languages – Admiral Lord Nelson School
  • Inclusion and diversity award (Sponsored by: Caterlink)
    • Emma Darbyshire – PSCHE teacher – Flying Bull Academy
  • Communication and collaboration award (Sponsored by: Kier)
    • Layla Gover – Higher level teaching assistant – Milton Park Primary School
  • Partnership award (Sponsored by: University of Portsmouth)
    • Bridging Portsmouth’s Digital Divide team (Portsmouth City Council / Shaping Portsmouth / The Hive / Thinking Schools Academy Trust)
  • Outstanding contribution award (Sponsored by: BAE Systems)
    • Roberta Kirby – Head teacher – Fernhurst Junior School
  • People’s choice award (Sponsored by: The News)
    • Ashley Howard – Head teacher – Highbury Primary School

In addition, 90 teachers received long service awards for 20 years of service to the city. There is no overall winner in this category and everyone receives an award. Those who have won awards work in all areas of school and college life. From learning support assistants to head teachers, the awards celebrate everyone’s successes.

Roberta Kirby, head teacher at Fernhurst Junior School won the outstanding contribution award said:

“I was thrilled to have been nominated for the outstanding contribution award. However, when Councillor Suzy Horton burst through the door with a trophy I was absolutely stunned.

“What’s important to remember is that the trophy isn’t just for me but recognition of the whole team who have gone above and beyond to support everyone during the pandemic.”

Over the last two academic years, Portsmouth City Council has worked closely with schools, colleges and organisations across the city to ensure communities feel supported. The Teach Portsmouth Awards Live recognises those who have done their bit to help.

Mike Stoneman, deputy director for children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council reflected on the importance of such an event:

“The Teach Portsmouth Awards is always a firm favourite in the city’s event calendar as we celebrate our hard working teams. With the pandemic, it’s more important than ever before to recognise their incredible efforts and the role teachers, learning support assistants and head teachers play in our communities.”

A recording of the Teach Portsmouth Awards Live ceremony is now available to watch online.


People's choice award

Local residents recognise top teachers in Teach Portsmouth Awards Live

A list of top teachers, support teams and leaders have been revealed in the people’s choice category for the Teach Portsmouth Awards Live.

Teach Portsmouth, part of Portsmouth City Council, promotes teacher recruitment and retention in the city. In January, local residents were asked to nominate a school or college team member who had gone above and beyond to support their community during the pandemic.

The category was created in response to the unique and challenging situation COVID-19 presented for those working in education settings. Inspirational stories of teachers calling home to check on children and head teachers delivering food parcels have featured in supporting statements submitted for the category.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, said:

“Schools and colleges have done an amazing job supporting vulnerable families as well as making sure everyone remains connected in a safe and secure way. This has made a huge difference to local residents home-schooling children during each lockdown. It was only right that we allowed local residents to nominate a teacher, support team or head teacher in an all-new category.

“When looking online, it is clear that those who feature in the list have left a lasting impression on the local community.”

Parents and carers of children and young people in the city have shared their experiences of those who have gone above and beyond. Annaliese Campbell, learning mentor and wellbeing lead at Langstone Junior Academy has supported the whole school during the pandemic. One parent said:

“Langstone Junior Academy is always excellent at supporting their pupils but they have worked especially hard during the pandemic. Mrs Campbell works tirelessly to support pupils and parents alike and has consistently been available.  She sends out regular and carefully thought out wellbeing exercises, resources and advice.”

While many pupils were learning from home, schools never closed, with many teachers supporting keyworker children and young people in the classroom. Another parent said headteacher, Jackie Collins at Devonshire Infant School had made their child feel comforted:

“Since the start of the pandemic, parents were not allowed to bring their children into the school. Ms Collins personally greeted every child outside. She knows every name, deals with every query, every forgotten packed lunch and every tearful child. This daily undertaking is appreciated. Thank you for caring so much, Ms Collins.”

In previous years, the Teach Portsmouth Awards has only allowed headteachers in schools and colleges to take part in nominating their staff. For the first time, local residents could nominate a teacher, learning support assistant or headteacher in an education setting.

Mike Stoneman, deputy director for children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council, said:

“The last 18 months has been a challenging time for many of us, including teachers. The introduction of the people’s choice award category is a natural next step in recognising the amazing contributions from those who work in education.

“Each entry has a personal story attached to it with many instances of colleagues supporting families in profound ways. This new category provides Portsmouth with an opportunity to say a collective thank you to those who work in education.”

The Teach Portsmouth Awards have been held at iconic locations across the city including the Gaiety Bar on Southsea Pier. Due to social distancing, this year’s event will be streamed virtually through Zoom video conferencing.

The Teach Portsmouth Awards Live will take place on Thursday 8 July featuring celebrity host, Reverend Richard Coles. There are 9 award categories which showcase the talents and dedication of Portsmouth’s education community.

The awards are sponsored by local organisations including Portsmouth College, National Education Union (NEU), The University of Portsmouth, Caterlink, BAE Systems, Kier Construction, Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT), Express FM and The News.

To view those recognised in the people’s choice award category, visit:

Teach Portsmouth celebrates

Teach Portsmouth celebrates achievements of school and college staff

To celebrate the immense efforts of teachers, support staff and head teachers in schools and colleges across the city, Teach Portsmouth has launched a new initiative to recognise their achievements.

From 7 – 18 June, schools, colleges and organisations are encouraged to recognise their staff by sharing a photo or video on their social media pages using the hashtag #TeachPortsmouthCelebrates.

Over the last 18 months, the pandemic has shone a light on staff who work in education including teachers, learning support assistants, receptionists, cleaners and more in supporting the city’s families, children and young people.

These individuals have taken on more responsibility over and above their normal jobs. This includes the delivery of food parcels to vulnerable families, mass testing of pupils and introducing new technology for at home learning. In many instances, these changes have taken place quickly with staff going beyond what is normally required to support their community.

Our latest initiative supports schools, colleges and organisations in celebrating their workforce by sharing a special message with parents and carers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council championed the campaign:

“We’re celebrating the amazing work that has gone on by school and college staff in the city. Teach Portsmouth is asking head teachers to pause and consider how they can recognise their staff.

“Teachers have played an important role in supporting children and young people in the city during the pandemic. Despite many pupils learning from home, schools never closed, supporting keyworker children in the classroom over the last 18 months.”

Head teachers are being asked to think creatively about how they will celebrate their staff, showcasing their efforts to the school community online. This could include recording a video message that says thanks or school children creating window murals to recognise their teaching heroes.

Mike Stoneman, deputy director of children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“We appreciate how hard everyone has worked this year. Teach Portsmouth’s latest campaign gives everyone the chance to recognise their staff before the main awards ceremony on Thursday 8 July.

“It’s impossible to showcase everyone’s talents in The Teach Portsmouth Awards – so we felt it was important for individuals and teams to share their successes with parents and carers online.”

Organisations across the city are getting involved, sharing inspirational stories and messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Southsea Infant School has been sharing special messages of thanks, recognising their staff who have gone above and beyond during the last 18 months. Nigel Man, site manager at the school, said:

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Southsea Infant School for recognising our work during the pandemic.

“Me and my son, Sevon have been busy keeping the site clean to ensure the school is COVID secure. It has been hard work at times but with the help of all the staff we’ve got through it. It’s great to know we are being noticed and celebrated.”

The celebrations continue…

Those who are recognised for their achievements on social media have the opportunity to feature in a special film which will be shown during the virtual awards ceremony.

To learn more about Teach Portsmouth celebrates and how schools and colleges have been getting involved. Visit the Teach Portsmouth Awards Live section of the site to see the inspirational stories being shared.

Find out more

SEND survey results

Results of the Portsmouth 2021 SEND survey

The 2021 survey of parents and carers of children with SEND praised city schools and keyworkers for their support in Portsmouth City Council’s annual survey. 86% said they felt they were being listened to, with education staff being most often identified as the main keyworker that supports them.

However, it also showed about half of families are still not aware of Portsmouth’s SEND Local Offer website, meaning some might be missing out on important and helpful support and advice. Please signpost any families whose children require additional help with their learning to visit

Read the full survey report on the Local Offer website.

Armed Forces Day 2021

Armed Forces Day 2021

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. Portsmouth City Council are proud to uphold the Armed Forces Covenant and recognise that now more than ever, our armed forces community may need the support the Armed Forces Covenant provides. Information on how you can support, or be supported by the Covenant, is available on the Portsmouth City Council website.

For children growing up in military families, Armed Forces Day on Saturday 26 June and the week leading up to it is our opportunity to recognise and thank them for the unique sacrifices they and their families make and have made to support our security and wellbeing. In the past year military personnel across the country have supported us at home and abroad in the global fight against the pandemic, as well as continuing other humanitarian and peacekeeping activities around the world.

In Portsmouth and around the country, military veterans have also answered the call to action, providing much needed support to our vaccination centres and the local community. Veterans can be any age, and there are many with families that include school aged children. These children also need Armed Forces week as an opportunity to celebrate and share their experiences.

The pandemic has prevented large civic events but we will be celebrating Armed Forces Week with a flag raising ceremony to take place on Armed Forces Day.  There will also be guided walks around memorial sites and a small scale event at Gunwharf Quays.

There are lots of pre-existing educational resources available for schools and parents on the topic of the Armed Forces, past and present. These can be used during Armed Forces week to say thank you and find out more about the Armed Forces. Access the resources through the Armed Forces Day website.

If you share your school’s Armed Forces Day activities on social media, don’t forget to use the hashtag #SaluteOurForces and tag @ArmedForcesDay in your posts.

If you have any questions please email [email protected]

Portsmouth Clean Air Zone (CAZ)

Portsmouth Clean Air Zone (CAZ) launching November 2021

The Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is due to launch in November 2021 and some vehicles that travel through it would face a daily charge. These include non-compliant taxis, private hire vehicles (PHVs), buses, coaches, and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) that:

  •        Do not meet Euro 6 emissions standards (so are Euro 5 or older) if they are diesel
  •        Do not meet Euro 4 emissions standards (so are Euro 3 or older) if they are petrol

Since you might use coaches to make trips for your school, it’s important that you’re aware that older, more-polluting buses and coaches would have to pay a charge of £50 per day to travel through the zone.

You are encouraged to speak to the coach company you’d normally use to make them aware of this charge, as they may be able to use a cleaner, greener vehicle for your school. This will also ensure that children and young people are exposed to less air pollution.

Find out more at

Induction for early career teachers

Changes to induction for early career teachers from September 2021

Induction for early career teachers is changing from September 2021, and the Department for Education has published new guidance for appropriate bodies, headteachers, school staff and governing bodies. This guidance will come into effect from 1 September 2021 and the main changes are listed below. Thank you to Brighton and Hove AB for summarising the changes.

  • The term newly qualified teacher (NQT) will be replaced with early career teacher (ECT).
  • Induction will be for two years rather than one (full-time equivalent).
  • ECTs will receive 5% CPD time in their second year – and retain the 10% entitlement in the first year.
  • ECTs will carry out a programme of support and training over the two years, based on the new Early Career Framework (ECF).
  • The role of mentor is being introduced. The mentor will meet with the ECT regularly to provide targeted feedback and ensure they are receiving a high quality ECF-based programme in their CPD time.
  • The role therefore of the person responsible for overseeing induction is changing. This person (to be called the induction tutor) will be providing monitoring & support, and assessing the ECT against the Teachers’ Standards; just as they do now.
  • There will be two formal induction assessment points, one at the end of each year.
  • There will be likely be short progress reviews at the end of terms 1, 2, 4 and 5, with outcomes reported to the appropriate body.
  • For NQTs who have already started induction and will be continuing after September 2021, they have until September 2023 to complete induction using the current three-term model – however, schools are encouraged to provide an ECF-based induction and a mentor after September 2021.
  • After the transition period ends in September 2023, these ECTs will have to convert to a two-year induction for the remainder of their induction period.
  • ECTs will still need to be registered with an ‘appropriate body’ for induction and going forward this can be a local authority or a teaching school hub.
  • Appropriate Body services can be arranged as a separate provision to your ECTs (from a LA or teaching school hub) or as part of a package for delivering the ECF.

The DfE’s updated early career framework guidance explains the different options for accessing the ECF, and the funding available.

If you have any questions please contact [email protected].

Portsmouth Education Partnership logo

Vacancy: Independent Chair for Portsmouth Education Partnership

The Portsmouth Education Partnership (PEP) is seeking to appoint a part time Independent Chair, over a two year period initially, in order to provide supportive leadership for continued education improvement in Portsmouth as we begin to move out of the pandemic.