The #Debretts500 Party by @TeacherToolkit

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This is a blog about the #Debretts500 party from a teacher’s perspective and to keep my readers up-to-speed with what has been going on over the past 48 hours. This is not my usual type of teaching blog; this offers a selection of images from the celebration event. I promise to return to normal blogging practice before the end of the week …

If you are not up to speed with my blog, earlier this month, I was nominated for inclusion in Debrett’s 500 as one of the most influential people in Britain. This was published exclusively in The Sunday Times on Sunday 25th January 2015. 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! To me, all I do is teach, lead, blog and tweet.

You can see my mug shot taken below on Sunday 25th January.

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Nomination Newspaper Ross Morrison McGill education Freddie @TeacherToolkit
The Sunday Times 500

I am proud to represent the teaching community and in particular teachers using social media to move policy and practice. You can read my blog here in full; The 500 Most Influential People in Britain.


Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party

The Party:

I was picked up by a chauffeur from school. Yes. A chauffeur! After a senior leadership meeting and following a quick change of outfit, I stepped inside the luxury car. There were gadgets everywhere. My driver was lovely. She helped calm the nerves and talked about all the celebrities she has worked with. I told her my life story and she, mine; in no time at all, we had arrived at Piccadilly Circus. Below you can see my personal console as I sat in the largest back seat ever, with the largest leg-room known to man!

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party


On arrival, I grabbed a water, then took the selfie of me at The Club at Cafe Royal. It was a small room, packed to the rafters with the loudest jazz band you could imagine. There was champagne-service on arrival. I soon grabbed a glass …

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party

CEO @Joanne_Milner opened the proceedings and spoke about Debretts, the 500 list and how people from many different walks of life, have been selected meticulously from 24 different areas.

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party

Richard Thompson – Debrett’s People of Today Chairman  – who, coincidentally had invited me to speak on Sky News (television) on Sunday 25th January, spoke and welcomed special guests to the stage. He interviewed ; @ProfBrianCox and model .

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Here are some of the people I met at Debretts, who are also influencing many other people in their own field. Below is a selfie with:

  • @ProfBrianCox
  • @157lynne – CEO of 157 Group, representing 30 UK large urban colleges.
  • @BrianLightman – former Debretts 500 – General Secretary of ASCL.

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party

and ex-headteacher and gentleman, new schools commissioner, Sir @FrankXG. (Green).

Please encourage Frank to become more active on Twitter!

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party

I also met @MaryCurnockCook who is the CEO of UCAS.

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party

I then bumped into Dame @CoatesSally, now working for United Learning Academies and

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party

which was soon followed by a rendezvous with Brett @Wigdortz, Founder & CEO . A great charity, although I forgot to leave some feedback about the latest recruitment advert.

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party

Later on in the evening the canapés and cocktails started to flow. I had in the back of my mind, that I had to be up at 6am the next day and back to school! By chance, I stumbled upon nominees Affordable Housing Developer, @ClaireBennie (left); Director of Fair Access and nomination for education, Professor Les Ebdon (2nd left); and @GeorgErgatoudis who is Head of Music at BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra (2nd right).

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party

As I tried my best to leave the party, I found it difficult to walk past @GarethMalone OBE without grabbing this photo and using the opportunity to discuss music and education. His wife is a teacher, so it became comfortable talking from the outset.

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party

After having a few more doors opened by various people, I finally left the building and took a comfortable drive home. Here is a photo of me standing next to my chauffeur. All in all, a lovely celebration and recognition of education and the power of Twitter and blogging.

Debrett's 500 The Sunday Times Award Party

If I can, so can you …

Here are the other nominees in education.


In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...

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