LOUISE Coates, head teacher at Bonnygate Primary School in South Ockendon, has been awarded a runners-up prize in the prestigious regional Headteacher of the Year awards.
She achieved a distinction in the annual Pearson Teaching Awards, which means she was an outstanding candidate for head teacher of a primary school in London and the south-east.
More than 24,000 nominations were received for the awards, but judges were impressed by Mrs Coates’ hard work and dedication and the impact this has had on educational attainment at the school.
The Arisdale Avenue school’s deputy head, Gareth Jones, said: “This is a fantastic achievement, which recognises Mrs Coates’ success in raising attainment at Bonnygate.
“She is an inspirational headteacher, who is determined to improve the life-chances of children.”
The school’s Chair of Governors, Jo Spicer, said the changes that have been made at the school in the last three years are testament to the hard work of the whole team at Bonnygate, led with drive and enthusiasm by Mrs Coates.
She added: “This award is welcome recognition for Mrs Coates, who is popular with staff and children alike. The recent improvements at the school have had an impact on every child, who are all a credit to the school and the local community.”
The school’s most recent Ofsted inspection, published last year, rated leadership and management at the school as “outstanding”.
Mrs Coates said she was honoured to have been awarded the prize, with a distinction recognising her outstanding achievement. She added: “It is fantastic to receive this award, which I think is recognition, not only for my role as headteacher but for the hard work and dedication of all the staff, and of course the achievement of the children at Bonnygate, who are fantastic.
“This is an award for the whole school, which is certain to continue to improve and provide the very highest quality education.”
Thurrock Council Leader and education portfolio holder, Cllr John Kent, congratulated Mrs Coates and thanked her for her valuable contribution to improving education in Thurrock.
He added: “This award highlights how strong leadership can help a school improve rapidly and maintain momentum. This is a great achievement for the headteacher, her colleagues and all the children who attend Bonnygate Primary School.”