An unexpected announcement in The Sunday Times, Debrett’s 500 Most Influential People in Britain.
For almost 250 years Debrett’s has been recognising people of influence and achievement in British society.
I received this invitation on the 3rd January 2015. It said;
“I am delighted to inform you that you have been nominated for inclusion in Debrett’s 500 as one of the most influential people in your field.” Published exclusively in The Sunday Times, the Debrett’s 500 is an annual list of the 500 most influential people in Britain. The list features those who have inspired, achieved and instigated change beyond expectation throughout the past year. This is a recognition and celebration of Britain’s 500 most influential people. It has been carefully compiled by independent panels of specialists in each field who provided nominations to Debrett’s. It is a truly inspiring group of people.”
Debrett’s began in 1769 with a Peerage which later expanded to include People of Today. This has now developed into a network of over 22,000 people across all walks of life. Past individuals to feature on the list are here.
I am extremely flattered to be nominated for Debrett’s 500 in The Sunday Times. This nomination is the accumulation of 23-years work in London classrooms and I am proud to say, that I am the only current classroom teacher to have ever featured on this list! There is a single notion that we all in have in common; that we have all been to school and that each of us can remember an inspiring teacher(s). This also applies to me. There are countless other teachers who have been part of my own professional development; many colleagues I would consider, who have each influenced me to become an even better teacher.
Thank you to design technology teacher and head of department Mr. Paul Boldy (Fleetwood High School, circa. 1991) who was my inspiration for entering into a 4-year BAEd degree at Goldsmiths College, University of Arts London. To the late Dr. Terry Liddament, Professor Richard Kimbell, Professor Kay Stables, Tony Lawler, John Saxton and Rose Sinclair who guided me through 4-years of classroom subject knowledge, theory and practice; as well as psychology, child development and educational pedagogy. Without this grounding, I would not be the qualified practitioner I am today.
Having experienced state-school education all over the UK, in no-less-than 7 schools as a child, I dedicate my nomination to all students and teachers working in every state school in Britain. State education is succeeding and providing life-chances for hundreds of thousands of children. It is by no-means perfect and we have much to do to ensure no child is left behind. We live in an era, where teachers can now influence policy and move ivory towers much more readily. With the relatively, new-phenomenon that is social media, Twitter, Facebook, blogging and back-channel Teachmeets are now giving every teacher the opportunity to lead the educational debate. Shaping the educational landscape more and more. This can only become exponential for all of us, so that one day, we may work in a climate where teachers can dictate policy, not in schools where far-removed politicians determine what we do. This is why I remain resolute to blog, tweet and share best practice online; to celebrate what a wonderful profession teaching can be, and celebrate the work of those who want to change the lives of children.
To bygone headteachers and Alex, who have employed, mentored and challenged me throughout my career. Thank you. This is also for you.
- Mr. Chris Cahill – St. Thomas More R.C. School, Haringey.
- Mrs. Rossyln Hudson – Alexandra Park School, Haringey.
- Mrs. Bev Bell – The Crest Academies, Brent (formerly John Kelly Girls Technology College).
- Mr. Paul Sutton OBE – Greig City Academy, Haringey.
- and currently Mr. Alex Atherton – Quintin Kynaston, Westminster.
The party and photo celebrations are here.
This week I received this email from Richard Thompson, Debrett’s People of Today Chairman. He said;
“As you know, the Debrett’s 500 is published in The Sunday Times on 25th January. I will be speaking exclusively on Sky News about the 500 on Sunday morning [25th January 2015] and have been asked to select a notable member of the 500 to speak with me.
The 500 is about celebrating those that are achieving, influencing and inspiring and we feel that you truly do all three. Your current work really is at the essence of the values of the 500 and I would be delighted if you would accompany me.”
You can view the original email here.
Sadly, I missed this email and responded too late.