LAT Awards 2018

Thursday 12th July saw the second annual LAT Awards take place at Strood Academy. It was a glittering, red-carpet event to celebrate the achievements of some of our very best staff and governors. Nominees were put forward by their colleagues and winners were decided by an independent panel of judges.

The evening started with a prosecco reception and was followed by dinner provided by Cucina and entertainment from Donell Arizini, a sixteen year old exceptional pianist from The Halley Academy in Greenwich.

Master of ceremonies for the evening was the Trust’s Deputy CEO, Neil Willis. Nominated staff and their guests watched the Trust’s latest video featuring CEO, Simon Beamish, promoting its first ten years as an organisation.

Prizes were presented after dinner by senior LAT executives and Directors with the support of Nicola Everett from kmfm. A closing speech was delivered by LAT’s Chairman, Bob Findlay. Award winners were as follows:


Support Staff Award for Operational Services
Brandon BailyLeigh Academies Trust
Support Staff Award for Pupil Engagement
Sally Ley
Mascalls Academy
Primary Teacher of the Year (Winner)
Melissa Range Dartford Primary Academy
Primary Teacher of the Year (Highly commended)Lisa Fewell Hartley Primary Academy
Secondary Teacher of the Year (Winner)Nina AdamsThe Leigh Academy
Secondary Teacher of the Year (Highly commended)Mike Illsley Mascalls Academy
Mentor/Coach of the YearJo AllenWilmington and Cherry Orchard Primary Academies
Digital Technology AwardSarah RyderStrood Academy
Primary NQT of the YearNicole Knight-StevensonCherry Orchard Primary Academy
Secondary NQT of the YearLouise KnappMascalls Academy
Leadership Award for Support ServicesGary DyerThe Halley Academy
Leadership Award for Teaching, Learning and CurriculumIan ChambersLongfield Academy
Outstanding Governor Award (Winner)Clive Barker The Leigh UTC
Outstanding Governor Award (Highly commended)Robert Tibbott Wilmington Academy
Special RecognitionHeather MonksLongfield Academy

As part of the evening, a £2,000 cheque was presented to the winner of the inaugural Leigh Prize by Cllr Jeremy Kite, MBE, Leader of Dartford Borough Council and LAT Director. It was awarded in its first year for the best dissertation on the topic of teacher wellbeing. The top prize was awarded to Sophie Dickinson from The Leigh UTC for her excellent essay which will now be published nationally.

The Trust is already planning the same event for next year which it is hoped will be even bigger and better still. In addition, plans are now underway for an inaugural LAT Christmas Ball to take place in December 2018. It is events like these that bind us together and remind us that we are much more than simply a set of individual schools.

Click here to see the photos from the evening.