Eamon Connolly, who has transformed St Thomas the Apostle College in Nunhead, has won the Silver Teaching Award for ‘head teacher of the year in a secondary school’.
After joining the school in 2012, Eamon has overseen the school’s rise from being at the bottom of the borough’s secondary school league table, and in danger of being put in special measures by Ofsted, to receiving its highest ever GCSE results.
Last year the all-boys school finished twelfth in the country for its 2016 Progress Eight results – a new national standard to measure pupils’ academic improvement. And 82 per cent of its pupils achieved five or more A* to C grades.
On receiving his award, Eamon said: “I am delighted to receive this award. It is a fitting testament to the hard work and dedication of all my staff and of the students themselves. The students of St Thomas the Apostle College are remarkable young people who make us proud every day.”
Eamon will go to the UK final of the Pearson Teaching Awards, at a ceremony on October 22 held in central London.
There, he will join a shortlist of other head teachers, and find out if he has won one of eleven Gold Plato Awards – considered the UK’s “Oscars for Teachers”.
The ceremony will also be broadcast by the BBC. Previous award presenters have included former prime ministers David Cameron and Tony Blair, acting legends Sheila Hancock and Timothy West and sports and TV personalities like Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain.