Astley Cooper’s head wins top teacher title

Eddie Gaynor, head teacher at Astley Cooper School in Hemel Hempstead, wins Pearson Teaching Award 'best secondary head in east' accolade, May 2013
Eddie Gaynor, head teacher at Astley Cooper School in Hemel Hempstead, wins Pearson Teaching Award 'best secondary head in east' accolade, May 2013

The head teacher brought in to reshape the reputation of a Hemel Hempstead secondary school is now in the running for national honours in recogniton of what he’s achieved.

Eddie Gaynor was today confirmed as best secondary school head in the east of England in the presitigous 2013 Pearson Teaching Awards.

Today is Thank A Teacher Day across the country, and the announcement of the winners of regional awards – selected from more than 24,000 nominations – are helping to put the seal on the celebration.

Mr Gaynor, who took over at the St Agnells Lane school 18 months ago, was nominated by three Year 11 pupils at Grovehill’s Astley Cooper School.

Judges who visited the school to see it in action praised his leadership at a time of great change, adding: “It truly feels as though the school and, most importantly, the young people have a real future, an exciting future where things are going to continue to improve.

“Stakeholders had nothing but praise for Eddie and parents described him as ‘open and visible with a genuine interest in the kids.’

Mr Gaynor is now in the running for a national top teacher title, with the results due to be announced in October.

Pearson UK president Rod Bristow, which sponsors the awards set up by film producer Lord Puttnam in 1999, said: “We want to recognise and support inspirational teachers, for their commitment to teaching and learning and improving the life chances of the next generation.

“It’s really important that we create opportunities to say thank you.”