Wellingborough headteacher honoured with prestigious national award

Steve Elliott has been honoured as one of 102 Pearson National Teaching Silver Award winners across the country.

By Alison Bagley
Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 10:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 10:36 am

A Wellingborough headteacher has been honoured by a national teaching awards scheme on 'Thank a Teacher Day' at a surprise assembly.

Wrenn School's Steve Elliott scooped the Pearson National Teaching silver award and could strike gold later this year as one of the 15 winners shortlisted to go through to the final.

Selected from thousands of nominations, Mr Elliott was picked as one of 102 silver award winners from across the country in the 'Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School' category.

Steve Elliott

Staff, governors and community leaders gathered at the London Road campus today (Wednesday) to recognise Mr Elliott's award given for his 'outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children' he works with every day.

A surprised but happy Mr Elliott said: "Thank you, thank you so much. I'm speechless. It makes me so humble. This award is for you, for every member of staff who works here, for the governors, community and parents. I'm holding this wonderful award but it should say Wrenn School on it. It's you guys who should be honoured. This is for Wrenn School."

A spokesman for the awards said: "Under Steve’s leadership the school has been transformed and was mostly recently judged as 'good' by Ofsted, while also becoming the most improved school in Northamptonshire. Steve is highly respected by students, staff and the wider school community, and works constantly to improve the school and develop his team.

"In addition to this Steve has developed staff to fulfil their potential with many going on to leadership roles. His ethos is embedded within the school to demonstrate that all children have a right to excellent educational opportunities.

Steve Elliott applauded by colleagues and guests

"Students are supported to develop outside of academic results, with older students acting as reading mentors, pastoral buddies and anti-bullying ambassadors. The wide range of extra-curricular activities and additional studying sessions means students can excel in every aspect of their lives. Steve has also embedded himself into the community and has fostered positive relationships with parents and external stakeholders."

Mr Elliott, who has been at Wrenn's helm for six years, announced his retirement in February.

Mayor of Wellingborough Lora Lawman congratulated Mr Elliott on behalf of the town and Liz Birchall from Wellingborough Sea Cadets presented a plaque.

Chair of governors Bill Mandeville said: "Steve galvanised us together as a team. The culture and standards of a school come through from the top and he is such an inspirational leader."

Mayor of Wellingborough Cllr Lora Lawman and Cllr Graham Lawman paid tribute to Steve Elliott

Handing over the certificate and plaque, vice principal John Hunt said: "The progress that has been made under Steve's leadership would not have been possible without his determination. I wish him good luck in the future."

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with.

Mr Elliott has now been shortlisted to win one of just 15 'gold awards' later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC.

Paul Matthias, national director of Hays Education, said: "Working in placing thousands of teaching leadership roles across the country – we know just how important finding the right leader for a school is. Steve has received such positive feedback and it is clear they are so highly respected by their staff, pupils and community."

Steve was surprised by colleagues

The silver award winners are being honoured as part of the wider celebrations for ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, a national campaign to honour and recognise school staff for their work.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Congratulations to all the silver award winning educators, and every teacher who has gone above and beyond, inspiring and shaping our future generations to be the best they can be."

Members of staff gathered to congratulate Mr Elliott