Teach Portsmouth Awards winners showcase: people's choice award

Winner-peoples-choice-award-news-hub- Ashley Howard, head teacher at Highbury Primary School

Our fantastic teachers, support teams and leaders are the backbone of education in Portsmouth. In a new series of articles, we showcase the winners of the Teach Portsmouth Awards Live and learn more about what drives them to increase aspirations in the city for children, young people and families.  

The Teach Portsmouth Awards Live was streamed live on 8 July 2021 as the winners in 9 award categories were revealed. Portsmouth schools and colleges tuned into the event, hosted by broadcaster, Reverend Richard Coles.

In this week's article, we speak to Ashley Howard, head teacher at Highbury Primary School who won the people's choice award. We discover how it felt to win the people's choice award and what drives him to teach.

Thank you for joining us, Ashley. Could you talk about your role at Highbury Primary School?  

I am a head teacher at Highbury Primary School which is run by the University of Chichester multi-academy trust.

I have been headteacher at Highbury since September 2019. Previously, I was headteacher at Manor Infant School for 7 years. 

Congratulations on winning the people's choice award. How did you feel when you found out you'd been nominated?  

It was a huge privilege to be nominated for the award by local residents.

This was the first time the general public could nominate someone in the Teach Portsmouth Awards.

The people's choice award is a community award through and through - the fact that I have been recognised by parents and carers is amazing! 

What did it mean to you to win the award and where do you keep your trophy?  

I was surprised to have won because there were so many nominees in this category.

To be recognised for this award and then to win it means so much. The fact that both pupils and staff could celebrate with me outside in a surprise playground award giving ceremony was an overwhelming experience.

Every person within education who has relentlessly gone above and beyond supporting families in the city deserves this award. I am only one person who has contributed to what has gone on locally and nationally.

I keep my trophy on a shelf in my office which sits above my computer. During challenging times, I can look at it and remember what makes a difference to our community. 

How important are events like the Teach Portsmouth Awards in recognising achievements in education?  

The Teach Portsmouth Awards lift spirits, bring communities together and allow us to celebrate education in Portsmouth as a whole.

The awards also recognise how we all contribute to the life chances of local children. The different categories for the awards ensure that various roles can be recognised… and that is crucial.

What would you say to anyone who is thinking about teaching in Portsmouth?  

You must definitely do it!

Think of a career where you can truly make a lifelong difference. Teaching in Portsmouth is that career. 

Meet the nominees  

Meet all the nominees for the people's choice award and find out more about why they were nominated.

Watch again as Ashley is presented with the 2021 people's choice award trophy during a surprise playground ceremony at Highbury Primary School. 


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