‘Children have the potential to change the world’: Headteacher awarded MBE for 30 years of service to education

A headteacher has been honoured with an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her exceptional services to education. 

Anne Hamilton, headteacher of Evelina Hospital School in Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, received her award on Friday.

The 57-year-old who lives on the border of Lambeth and Croydon said: “It’s amazing to be given an award like this.

“I’m really proud that the work I have put in has been recognised.”

The prestigious recognition marks a significant milestone in Ms Hamilton’s 30-year career, which spans primary and secondary school education, alternative provision, and the hospital sector.

Looking back, she said: “When I was little I wanted to be a barrister and go into law.

“But I fell into teaching when I was 12 years old. I would go to my local library – West Norwood Library – and teach children to read.

“I did it every Saturday and from there things just took off.”

Ms Hamilton has been a constant advocate for providing high-quality education to children and young people in schools across the capital.

She said: “I had a student at a primary school in Lambeth who refused to do traditional work but wouldn’t stop talking about Arsenal.

Anne Hamilton (Picture: Evelina Hospital School)

“I would get him to write a match report each week. Every bit of work I introduced to him had something to do with football.

“I bumped into him eight years ago and he said that because of me he stayed at school and now has a decent job.”

Ms Hamilton said taking a personalised approach to teaching and finding ways to motivate each child has been a driving force behind her career.

She said: “I had a young lady who was about 10 and I just couldn’t motivate her.

“One day I walked through the classroom and I heard her singing like Aretha Franklin.

“From then on I would get her to sing in every assembly – that’s the key, you let them shine.

“That young girl is a teacher now with three children of her own.

“It’s moments like these, when you don’t know you’re changing someone’s life – that’s the skill of a good teacher. 

“Children have the potential to change the world and we work out how to help them.”

For 17 years, Ms Hamilton has been a leading figure in hospital education at Wandsworth Hospital and Home Tuition Service and in her current role at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, where she has served as a headteacher for the past 11 years. 

In 2018, Ms Hamilton became a founding director of the National Association of Hospital Education (NAHE). The NAHE was established to unite educational professionals from various settings into one organisation, to improve outcomes for children with medical needs.

Ms Hamilton has also received the Civic Award, which celebrated her role in the Southwark Stands Together (SST) initiative, which is committed to addressing racial inequality in the borough. 

Reflecting on her career she said: “My journey has not been an easy one.

“But, my colleagues, friends and family have supported me all the way. We have come through it together and reached this point together.”

Pictured top: Anne Hamilton, headteacher of Evelina Hospital School (Picture: Evelina Hospital School)

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