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7th Jul 2022 5:45pm News

Teaching Awards announced at Parliament

Citizenship Teaching Awards 2022 - celebrating a vibrant and committed subject community.

Teaching Awards announced at the Houses of Parliament

Last Monday, we welcomed MPs, policy experts, education leaders, teachers and supporters to the Houses of Parliament for the first-ever teaching awards dedicated to Citizenship education. Hosted by ACT Honorary President and former Education Secretary, Lord Blunkett, the evening paid tribute to the many teachers and schools who work tirelessly to provide excellent Citizenship education. The event also marked the twentieth year of the Association for Citizenship Teaching’s support of the subject community.

There were scores of nominations received across the 9 different categories, highlighting the outstanding contribution of Citizenship teachers, school leaders and organisations from across the UK.

Our most prestigious award, the ‘Lord Blunkett Outstanding Contribution to Citizenship’  award was presented to Helen Blachford, Director of Personal Development and Citizenship Teaching at Priory School, Southsea, who has spent 20 years teaching and sharing her Citizenship expertise within the Citizenship community. One nominee said of Helen;

Helen has worked tirelessly to promote and move citizenship education forward. She is also an outstanding practitioner, and is driven by her passion to improve the lives of young people. She is committed to informing, educating and inspiring future game-changers in education.

We were delighted to have many parliamentarians attend the evening, including Vicky Foxcroft MP (Lewisham Deptford), Stephen Morgan MP (Portsmouth South), Feryal Clark MP (Enfield North) and Steve Brine MP (Winchester), who all shared the celebration with recipient teachers and schools from their constituencies. Kim Leadbeater MP (Batley and Spen), presented the GCSE Teacher of the Year to Bryden Joy, of Perins School in Hampshire and further pledged her support for Citizenship education.

Former Minister of State at the Department for Education, Robin Walker MP, presented Addey and Stanhope School the Secondary School of the Year award. Judges said the school had demonstrated the principles of effective Citizenship at every level of school life. It was noted that Citizenship is high profile, deeply embedded across the school, and the impact of the subject and the value students place on it can be seen by all who visit.

You can read about each of the awards and shortlisted nominations in our Awards programme here.

We also acknowledged a number of colleagues from the Citizenship education community who have made highly significant contributions to citizenship education over many years through academic research, leading the subject in schools, for advocacy and influence, and for services to ACT.


  • Lord Blunkett Outstanding Contribution to Citizenship – Helen Blachford, Priory School, Southsea
  • Organisation of the Year – The Politics Project
  • Trainee Teacher of the Year – Ellen Hall, Queen’s University, Belfast
  • GCSE Teacher of the Year – Bryden Joy, Perins School, Hampshire
  • School Active Citizenship Award – Hampton School, Twickenham
  • Primary School of the Year – Barrowford School, Lancashire
  • Secondary Teacher of the Year – John McCloskey, Shimna Integrated College, County Down
  • Secondary Teacher of the Year – Zoe Fox, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Engineering College, Lancashire
  • Student Choice Award – Nahyan Islam, Highlands School, Enfield
  • School of the Year – Addey and Stanhope School, Lewisham.

Special Recognition

  • David Kerr, for his long standing service to citizenship education, research and initial teacher education.
  • Viv Lamb, Oakham School, Leicestershire for her commitment to citizenship education
  • Michelle Codrington Rodgers, The Cherwell School Academy, Oxfordshire for her advocacy as first black President of NASUWT and commitment to promoting citizenship
  • Philip Haslop, for voluntary services to ACT finance and payroll for two decades
  • Chris Waller, for services to the Citizenship education community as former Professional Officer and Director of Education at ACT.


The celebratory evening was also an opportunity to look to the future, to call on partners and influencers to do everything they can to ensure every child benefits from high quality citizenship education. ACT also officially launched its new-look brand identity, and shared the ambitious vision for growth over the next three years, which will help every classroom practitioner to equip young people for democratic participation.

We acknowledge that there are so many deserving school leaders and teachers across the Citizenship education community, so we are already looking forward to celebrating more outstanding contributions and settings in the future – particularly as we hit the 20th anniversary of Citizenship education’s inclusion in the national curriculum during the 2022/23 academic year.

The success of Citizenship relies on the commitment of school leaders and excellent subject teachers who inject their passion and enthusiasm into the curriculum and who work tirelessly to support colleagues who may lack specialist subject knowledge. Today, we recognise all of those who were nominated and commended by our panel of judges and the many who are not with us but are working hard to promote Citizenship in schools across the country. – Lord Blunkett

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