Search

Alperton Community School’s Andria Zafirakou scoops £720k international prize for being ‘world’s best teacher’

PUBLISHED: 10:40 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:02 19 March 2018

Andria Zafirakou winner of the $1m Varkey Foundation Global Teacher prize with her pupils at Alperton Community School (Picture: Suzanne Plunkett)

Andria Zafirakou winner of the $1m Varkey Foundation Global Teacher prize with her pupils at Alperton Community School (Picture: Suzanne Plunkett)

Suzanne Plunkett

An Alperton schoolteacher has been named the best in the world, beating 30,000 entrants to a £720,000 prize.

Alperton Community School teacher Andria Zafirakou?. Photo by Alperton Community SchoolAlperton Community School teacher Andria Zafirakou?. Photo by Alperton Community School

Andria Zafirakou, an arts and textiles teacher at Alperton Community School in Stanley Avenue, scooped the fourth annual Varkey Foundation Global Teacher prize for $1million in Dubai on Sunday.

The foundation prize was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.

Ms Zafirakou has been described as “going against the grain”, taking the time to understand student lives beyond school by visiting their homes, riding with them on the bus and sometimes standing at the school gates with police officers to welcome pupils as they arrive at the start of the school day.

She has learnt basic “hello” and “goodbye” greetings in many of the 35 languages spoken at the school, including Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil and Portuguese.

She said: “The community where I teach in Brent is beautifully diverse and indeed is one of the most multicultural communities in the world.

“What is amazing is whatever issues students are having at home, whatever is missing from their life or causing them pain, our school is theirs.

“I know if our school could open at six o’clock in the morning, there would be a queue of children waiting outside at five o’clock in the morning. That’s how phenomenal they are.”

The other finalists at this year’s ceremony were from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, Turkey and the US.

In 2016, Colin Hegarty, a maths teacher from Preston Manor School in Carlton Avenue East, Wembley, was pipped to the winning spot by Hanan al Hroub from Palestine.

Ms Zafirakou will serve as a global ambassador for the Varkey Foundation. She will also be required to remain working as a classroom teacher for at least five years and will be paid the prize money in instalments.

Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North, said: “I knew she would win this as she’s one hell of a woman, She’s got the personality and the charisma and is an amazing advocate for teachers.”

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Brent Council leader, said: “Congratulations to Andria on this amazing and well deserved achievement, beating over 30,000 other teachers from around the world. This award shows her outstanding dedication and commitment to supporting young people’s learning and development and ensuring that every student has the chance to succeed.

“I’m proud that with great teachers like Andria we are raising the hopes and aspirations for all our young people to be the best and to be the next generation of leaders and captains of industry everywhere. ”

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, said: “I want to congratulate Andria Zafirakou for winning the Global Teacher Prize 2018. I hope Andria’s story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day.”

Latest Kilburn & Brent News Stories

Yesterday, 14:34

There are severe delays on the Jubilee Line after a person was hit by a train in Neasden.

Yesterday, 11:45

An abandoned cat brought into Mayhew nearly three years ago has finally found a permanent home with a former Eastenders star.

Yesterday, 10:02

Two Wembley drug dealers have been jailed after one of them was found to have crack cocaine and heroin in his poo.

Yesterday, 09:30

Brent Council has been accused of social cleansing by one of its own councillors as 197 households are forced to leave two blocks in Kilburn.

Wed, 15:37

Wembley Stadium is no longer for sale after billionaire Fulham FC owner deemed the move “too divisive”.

Wed, 12:15

Library campaigners in Cricklewood got a big surprise and welcome boost with a charitable windfall of more than £100,000.

Wed, 10:48

A Harlesden shop that sold a 16cm boning knife to two 15-year-olds has been fined more than £1,700.

Wed, 10:15

The parents of two murdered teenage boys have got behind a new campaign by Brent Council urging youths not to carry knives.

PROMOTED CONTENT

A new community centre, The Yellow, opens in Wembley Park in the heart of the Brent community. From October 1, the hub will offer a selection of arts and fitness classes, many of which will be free.

The Granville has begun taking bookings for workspaces and events ahead of its opening this spring.

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group has announced changes to the community’s cardiology service.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Kilburn Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read Kilburn News

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now