Judges 2021

See our expert panel of judges below!

Angela Browne

Angela Browne is director of a coaching and consultancy company, and founder of Havn, an online space for women. She spent 18 years working in education and has been a headteacher in mainstream education, alternative provision and an all-through school as well as having worked as a leader in special education.

Christine Gilbert

A former secondary school headteacher, Christine Gilbert was Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector at Ofsted from 2006 to 2011. She has substantial local authority experience as both director of education and chief executive, and is currently visiting professor at UCL Centre for Educational Leadership. She is also chair of the charity Future First.

Dame Alison Peacock

Professor Dame Alison Peacock is chief executive of the Chartered College of Teaching having previously been executive headteacher of The Wroxham School in Hertfordshire. She is also a visiting professor at the University of Hertfordshire and Glyndŵr University.

Dame Joan McVittie

Dame Joan McVittie was headteacher of Woodside High School in London from 2005-2015, leading it from special measures to two successive Ofsted “outstanding” grades. She is a past president of the Association of School and College Leaders, a member of the governing council of the National College and a trustee of the Youth Sports Trust. She now works as an independent consultant.

Eunice Lumsden

Dr Eunice Lumsden is an associate professor and subject lead for childhood, youth and families at the University of Northampton. She is also route panel member for the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a registered social worker.

Hilary Goldsmith

Hilary Goldsmith is a school business leader at a secondary school in Kent, with more than 16 years’ experience. She is a passionate advocate for the school business profession and is the force behind the SBLConnect national online network for school business leaders.

Jemma Sherwood

Jemma Sherwood is senior lead practitioner for mathematics at Ormiston Academies Trust. She has been teaching maths since 2004 and is a published author of books for teachers and students.

Jo Foster

Jo Foster became the director of the Institute for Research in Schools in 2019, after serving as an active trustee. Prior to that she was vice-principal at Camborne Science and International Academy, where she led the school’s specialist Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) provision, Nexus. She is the Stem education trustee for the Science Museum Group and is a member of the Royal Society Education Committee.

Mike Fairclough

Mike Fairclough is headteacher of West Rise Junior School and author of two books, Playing With Fire and Wild Thing. He is renowned for his risk-taking approach to character education as well as his outdoor learning initiatives.

Rob Webster

Rob Webster is an associate professor at the UCL Institute of Education. He was part of the research team that conducted the world’s largest study of teaching assistants (TAs), the Deployment and Impact of Support Staff project. As a former teaching assistant himself, he writes extensively on the role of TAs and created the award-winning Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants programme for schools.

Sam Twiselton

Professor Samantha Twiselton is director of the Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University, vice-president (external) of the Chartered College of Teaching and deputy chair of the Opportunity Area Partnership Board. She is also chair of the Department for Education’s Initial Teacher Training Framework Group, a member of the DfE’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Advisory Group and the Ofsted Curriculum Review Panel. She is a recent recipient of an OBE for services to higher education.

Sir Tim Brighouse

Sir Tim Brighouse’s long career in education has included spells as chief education officer for Oxfordshire and later for Birmingham. He was also a professor of education at Keele University. Most notably, he spent five years as schools commissioner for London, during which time he led the London Challenge.

Steve Brace

Steve Brace is head of education and outdoor learning at the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers), where he leads the society’s award-winning educational programme to support geography teachers and their pupils. He was previously director of education for the Commonwealth Institute and head of education at the development charity ActionAid.

Tara Porter

Dr Tara Porter is the lead clinical psychologist in the Camhs Eating Disorders Service at the Royal Free Hospital and an associate tutor on the doctorate programme for clinical psychologists at UCL. She has long had an interest in mental health in schools and, pre-Covid, worked for the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, on its Schools in Mind projects. She is Mental Health Columnist for Tes and her first book, on the mental health of teenage girls, will be coming out in 2022.

Ty Goddard

Ty is a writer and adviser on education reform, edtech and the future of education. He is a member of the Department for Education’s Edtech Leadership Group and helped lead the Edtech Demonstrator Programme, supporting a network of schools and colleges. He is also co-founder of The Education Foundation.

Vijita Patel

Vijita Patel is principal of the London-based Swiss Cottage School Development and Research Centre, a special educational needs school for 260 pupils, aged 2 to 19, which is a Centre of Excellence and designated Teaching School, advocating for an inclusive society through systemic developments. She is also a National Leader of Education and works with strategic partners to support schools in redesigning their curricula to promote the holistic development of children and young people in partnership with families.