UK teacher wins $1m Global Teacher Prize

London teacher, Andria Zafirakou, has been announced as the recipient of this year’s Global Teacher Prize.

She was crowned the winner during a ceremony at the Global Education and Skills Conference in Dubai, where she was presented with her prize by the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah.

Zafirakou, a teacher at Alperton Community School, becomes the first UK winner of the Global Teacher Prize, beating teachers nominated from more than 170 countries.
Following the announcement, in her acceptance speech, Zafirakou called for greater recognition for the value of arts subjects in school and said that schools could make a great positive difference – particularly through creative subjects.

“Too often we neglect this power of the arts to actually transform lives, particularly in the poorest communities.”

Formula one champion Lewis Hamilton, former US vice president Al Gore and former UK prime minister Tony Blair were part of the event.

Commenting on Zafirakou’s win the Education Secretary Damian Hinds said, “Andria’s story of selflessness and dedication is truly inspiring, and I am thrilled that she has received international recognition for her fantastic achievements.

“Great education is all about great people and Andria embodies the huge difference teachers can make to children’s lives.”

School Minister Nick Gibb added, “It is thanks to teachers like Andria that standards are rising in schools across the country.

“You only have to meet Andria to see how her upbeat optimism is so infectious. Her love of teaching and her dedication to her pupils is truly inspiring and motivating.”

The Global Teacher Prize was launched in 2015 and is a $1 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession. It administered by the Varkey Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world.

You can read more about Zafirakou’s story here.