GEYA 2017 finalists

Global Educator of the Year Award: Winner announced

On Friday 14th July, we were delighted to announce the 2017 Global Educator of the Year Award winner at a special event celebrating global learning. Running for the third year, the Award recognises educators who have gone above and beyond in raising awareness and deepening understanding of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and encouraging people to take action.

The event was attended by the finalists and their families, staff and trustees from Think Global, Award judges and others in the global learning community. Three of the Award finalists are Global Learning Programme Expert Centre Coordinators, who lead a network of schools in their area to drive global learning across the curriculum and share best practice.

Chair of the Think Global Hilary Thornton introduced Dr Andrew Christie, Geography Coordinator at Whitehill Junior School. Andrew leads the GLP network of 14 partner schools and has introduced a wide variety of projects linked to the SDGs at his school, included a Dragons’ Den style competition, a Global Maths Project and monthly Young Explorer quizzes which engage students in global issues and the SDGs, focusing on critical thinking. Find out more about Andrew’s work at Whitehill Junior School in this film. Andrew said: “I’m honoured to have been considered for this award and having met such inspirational teachers on the night I’m even more fired up to share the importance of global learning with my school and the wider community.”

2016 Award winner Elly Lengthorn has become a Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education at the University of Worcester since winning the award last year. She was thrilled to introduce Nathan Aktinson, Head of Richmond Hill Primary School in Leeds who set up the incredible Fuel for Schools project which now runs in 60 primary schools around Leeds. We were all humbled to hear from Nathan, who stressed the importance of instilling the values of global learning early in life.

Next up, award judge Paul Langley who is Head of Education and Youth at Oxfam introduced Lottie O’Brien. Lottie is Head of Social Science at the Commonweal School and explained how she created a new curriculum so that a global perspective is threaded into teaching, built around the school’s Core Values and using the SDGs. She said “Global learning is so important to our society and students and I’m honoured to have been shortlisted for the Global Educator of the Year Award.”

2017 Award winner Jane Yates with 2016 Award winner Elly Lengthorn.

2017 Award winner Jane Yates with 2016 Award winner Elly Lengthorn.

Jane Yates, subject leader in English and Lead Practitioner for Global Learning at Armathwaite Primary School was introduced by Mark Herbert, Head of Schools Programmes at the British Council who also judged the award. Jane challenged us to think about who we do global learning for and explained how she has embedded global learning throughout the curriculum at her school, and inspired and encouraged students to be active citizens and critical thinkers. Jane has also made a significant impact to develop awareness of the SDGs beyond Armathwaite through their 23 GLP partner schools, and other GLP expert centres across the country.


Think Global CEO Jess McQuail announced Jane as the winner and remarked: “We were moved, inspired and awe-struck by the amazing work each of the finalists have done ‘going above and beyond’ in promoting global learning and the SDGs in their schools and wider communities.”

Jane said “I am thrilled to be awarded the Global Educator of the Year Award for 2017. I’d like to think the award represents my role as a small cog in a big wheel that is continually driving global learning forward. A wheel that not only includes the pupils, staff and parents at Armathwaite School but also the multitude of amazing and committed GLP educators whose teaching is focused on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.”

Paul Langley from Oxfam commented: “The Global Educator of the Year award, and the work of Think Global, in inspiring, equipping and recognising the role teachers at the heart of global citizenship education is fantastic. Oxfam is delighted to be part of such an important event, congratulates all the finalists and looks forward to seeing what teachers will be doing in 2018!”

Mark Herbert from the British Council added: “It was a real privilege to be part of the judging panel for this year’s awards.  The standard of nominations was superb but the commitment and passion that our four finalists showed for bringing the world not only into their own classrooms but to their whole schools and beyond, really set them apart.  It was tough to choose a winner but Jane Yates stood out as a remarkable teacher and wonderful example of what a Global Educator can be.”

Main photo left to right: Nathan Atkinson, Lottie O’Brien, Jane Yates and Andrew Christie.

Find out more about each of the finalists here.

The Global Learning Programme (GLP) is a funded programme of support that is helping teachers in Primary, Secondary and Special schools to deliver effective teaching and learning about development and global issues at Key Stages 2 and 3. Think Global is a member of the consortium delivering the Global Learning Programme in England (GLP-E) on behalf of the Department for International Development.





Leave a Reply