Superstar teachers shine bright at Teach Portsmouth Awards Live ceremony


A virtual awards ceremony in Portsmouth for the city’s superstar teachers has revealed the winners in 8 award categories on Thursday 8 July. Due to COVID-19, this year’s event was held on Zoom video conferencing.

Teachers, learning support assistants and head teachers have gone above and beyond to support the city’s children, young people and families during the pandemic. The awards ceremony has showcased school and college staff in categories such as innovation in teaching, community and collaboration, outstanding achievement and more.

Their impact on Portsmouth has been immeasurable. Examples include teachers calling home to check on pupils during lockdown, introducing technology at a pace for learning online as well as delivering food parcels to those in need.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“It’s fantastic to see so many colleagues being recognised for their immense efforts during the pandemic. While there isn’t a specific category for COVID-19, each nominee featured in the shortlist went above and beyond to support their community during this time.

“While the winners deserve praise and recognition, it’s important to realise that everyone who works in schools and colleges in Portsmouth all deserve a collective round of applause. You are all superstars.”

Prior to the virtual event, entries were reviewed by a shortlisting panel. The people’s choice award was the only category to allow local residents to nominate a teacher, learning support assistant or head teacher who had gone above and beyond the call of duty during the pandemic. This category was judged on the amount of entries per nominee to work out a winner.

The Teach Portsmouth Awards Live celebrated the immense efforts of those who work in education settings in a virtual ceremony, hosted by broadcaster, Reverend Richard Coles.

The winners were announced at the awards ceremony in the following categories:

Innovation in teaching award (Sponsored by: Portsmouth College)
Ben Currier – Combined subject leader for international languages – Mayfield School

Creativity award – (Sponsored by: Thinking Schools Academy Trust)
Year one team – Bramble Infant School and Nursery

Unsung hero award (Sponsored by: Express FM)
Rebecca Britti – Curriculum lead for languages – Admiral Lord Nelson School

Inclusion and diversity award (Sponsored by: Caterlink)
Emma Darbyshire – PSCHE teacher – Flying Bull Academy

Communication and collaboration award (Sponsored by: Kier)
Layla Gover – Higher level teaching assistant – Milton Park Primary School

Partnership award (Sponsored by: University of Portsmouth)
Bridging Portsmouth’s Digital Divide team (Portsmouth City Council / Shaping Portsmouth / The Hive / Thinking Schools Academy Trust)

Outstanding contribution award (Sponsored by: BAE Systems)
Roberta Kirby – Head teacher – Fernhurst Junior School

People’s choice award (Sponsored by: The News)
Ashley Howard – Head teacher – Highbury Primary School

In addition, 90 teachers received long service awards for 20 years of service to the city. There is no overall winner in this category and everyone receives an award. Those who have won awards work in all areas of school and college life. From learning support assistants to head teachers, the awards celebrate everyone’s successes.

Roberta Kirby, head teacher at Fernhurst Junior School won the outstanding contribution award said:

“I was thrilled to have been nominated for the outstanding contribution award. However, when Councillor Suzy Horton burst through the door with a trophy I was absolutely stunned.

“What’s important to remember is that the trophy isn’t just for me but recognition of the whole team who have gone above and beyond to support everyone during the pandemic.”

Portsmouth City Council has worked closely with schools, colleges and organisations across the city to ensure communities feel supported. The Teach Portsmouth Awards Live recognises those who have done their bit to help during this time.

Mike Stoneman, deputy director for children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council reflected on the importance of such an event:

“The Teach Portsmouth Awards is always a firm favourite in the city’s event calendar as we celebrate our hard working teams. With the pandemic, it’s more important than ever before to recognise their incredible efforts and the role teachers, learning support assistants and head teachers play in our communities.”

A recording of the Teach Portsmouth Awards Live ceremony is now available to watch online. Visit: