Mr Middlebrook has been announced as a national finalist in The Award for Secondary School Headteacher of the Year in the Pearson Teaching Awards for 2016.
Selected from thousands of nominations received by the Pearson Teaching Awards for 2016, Mr Middlebrook is one of just 55 school staff across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to receive a prestigious Silver Pearson Teaching Award for being judged to be an outstanding local hero of education. The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching, founded in 1999 by Lord Puttnam, they recognize the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach.
Mr Middlebrook will now join fellow Silver Award winners at the UK final of the Teaching Awards to be held at a glittering celebration at London’s Guildhall on 23rd October, where 10 Silver Award winners from each category will receive a Gold Plato Award. There are 5 finalists in each category. Award presenters in 2015 included Prime Minister David Cameron, Bake-Off Champion Nadiya Hussain, War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and actor Sheila Hancock. The 2016 ceremony, titled “Britain’s Classroom Heroes”, will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC as a showcase of excellence in education.
Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK said: ‘It’s an honour for us to support the Teaching Awards each year. Research shows that great teaching has the biggest impact on a child’s education so it’s vital for us to recognise and celebrate inspirational teachers, for their commitment to teaching and learning and improving the life chances of the next generation. All those receiving a silver trophy should feel extremely proud of their achievement”.
Mr Purcell, Vice-Chair of Governors at Alsager said “The whole school community are incredibly proud of Richard’s achievements and the impact he has had at Alsager School. Richard’s inspirational leadership and warmth with pupils, parents and staff have helped to establish Alsager as one of the top performing schools in the North West”.
Mr Middlebrook’s impact since coming to Alsager 5 years ago has been praised by both staff at school and by Ofsted. In February 2016, Ofsted judged the school to be ‘outstanding’ for the first time, the report describes Richard as “a headteacher who inspires and empowers his staff and pupils to realise their potential. A quietly inspirational leader, whose rigour is blended with humanity.” Mrs Walton, Deputy Head at Alsager School said “Richard’s leadership has improved the outcomes for so many young people and enhanced the careers of so many staff; he is truly deserving of this award”.
Mr Middlebrook said “I am obviously personally delighted and humbled to receive this award and to go forward to the final ceremony. However, this award has been earned by everyone associated with Alsager School. All the staff, students, parents and governors have worked collectively and incredibly hard over the last 5 years to help us establish Alsager where it belongs, as one of the top performing schools in the region. Awards like this help put us ‘on the map’, as I feel rural places like Alsager are often ignored in the world of education. I am delighted for us all and have my fingers crossed for the televised final in London. My thanks go to all the staff, governors and parents who were involved in the nomination and selection process”.