Andria Zafirakou

Teacher, Arts and Textile, Alperton Community School

Teaches at Alperton Community School, a secondary school academy in the inner-city borough of Brent, UK. Working as an art and textiles teacher and as a member of the senior leadership team tasked with earning the trust of pupils and their families to understand the complex lives they’ve come from; redesigned the curriculum across all subjects to have it resonate with pupils. Helped a music teacher launch a Somali school choir and created alternative timetables to allow girls-only sports that would not offend conservative communities, leading the girls’ cricket team to win the McKenzie Cup. Learning the basics of many of the 35 languages in Alperton’s pupil population, has been able to reach out to once marginalized students to earn their trust and establish relationships with their parents. Determination to move beyond an identikit school curriculum has seen Alperton awarded the Institute of Education’s Professional Development Platinum Mark, an honour fewer than 10 British schools have ever achieved. Recently started a charity called Artists in Residence with the aim of supporting schools in London to secure arts on the curriculum by connecting them to artists who are passionate about the arts in education. Winner of the 2018 Global Teacher Prize.