On Tuesday 5 June, as part of our TES nomination for the Secondary School of the Year, one person from each nominated school was invited to a pre-ceremony event, which consisted of afternoon tea at the House of Commons. This was hosted by Lucy Powell MP and the TES editor Ann Mroz and was a ‘thank-you’ for all the hard work of teachers up and down the country.

It was a really great opportunity to meet all of the other nominees and discuss their school’s attributes and why they each felt that they had received a prestigious nomination across the different categories. There was a palpable buzz during the afternoon as teachers swapped their inspiring stories of how they have helped to improve their own schools and as a result, have made such a positive impact on the life chances of their respective students.

It was particularly satisfying for Mr Rayleigh to explain Alperton’s achievements which include:

  • our current GCSE results are the best the school has ever achieved
  • 1 in 3 students enter Russell Group Universities
  • we won the global Micro-Tyco competition
  • we achieved the Quality Mark Platinum Award for professional development
  • we have a strong sense of community and an active Parents and Friends Association
  • and of course, we have the winner of the global teacher prize.

Both Lucy Powell and Ann Mroz addressed the attendees during the event to celebrate the dedication that teachers and other professionals put into their roles when working with students across the UK as well as bringing innovation, creativity and commitment into the classroom.

Mr Rayleigh commented, ‘Going to The House of Commons was such a great experience and a real privilege for me. Being in the Terrace Pavilion on the River Thames was so beautiful and the food was, of course, 5 star. It was an amazing event and one that I will always cherish. Roll on Friday, 22nd June and fingers crossed that Alperton Community School can win the trophy for ‘Secondary School of the Year’.’