Dulwich schools up for awards

By Isaac Motalib-Haque

Two neighbouring schools in Dulwich have been shortlisted at this year’s prestigious Tes Awards – which celebrate excellence in education.

Kingsdale Foundation School, in Alleyn Park has been shortlisted for three awards – Best Secondary, Excellence in Creative Arts and
Inclusive School of the Year.

Dulwich College has been shortlisted for Headteacher of the Year – Independent. It is included in The Schools Index as one of the 150 best private schools in the world.

Last year, Kingsdale Foundation School was rated ‘Outstanding’ across the board by Ofsted, with My London reporting in September 2020 that it was the hardest secondary school in the capital for a child to secure a place at.

Kingsdale Foundation School’s Acting Headteacher – Operational, Andrew Sear, said he was “Delighted” for Dulwich College’s Master, Dr Joe Spence. He said: “The nomination for Independent Headteacher of the Year is no less than he deserves.”

Dr Spence was equally complimentary of Kingsdale Foundation School. He said: “I’m really delighted that this year, as I hope it might be every year, one of our maintained school partners has been recognised by Tes because one of the things I’m passionate about is the partnerships we have with local schools. Congratulations to Kingsdale on their three well-deserved nominations.”

He added: “Certainly for myself, when we talk about what am I proud of as being Head Master and which aspect of my headmastership I think are being recognised in this nomination, I think my commitment to partnership work, notably through Southwark, is one of the most important things.”
Andrew Sear, Acting Headteacher Operational Kingsdale Foundation School (Picture: Kingsdale Foundation School)

Although Kingsdale is also up for the highly coveted Secondary School of the Year category, Mr Sear is particularly proud of the
Inclusive School of the Year nomination.

He said: “A school that is not inclusive is not a school. When schools work for children and put their all-round success and well-being at the heart of everything they do, then schools work for children, parents and staff.”

For Dr Spence, the nomination comes at a perfect time as he is due to retire in September 2025.

Dr Spence has been with Dulwich College since 2009 and his previous roles include Master in College at Eton College. He said: “The timing is indeed perfect. It’s a lovely note of affirmation as I approach retirement.

“It feels like a recognition of the work we’ve done and inspires us to maintain and elevate our standards. It’s a wonderful way to cap off my career and contribute to the school’s lasting legacy.”

Winners will be announced on Friday, June 21 at the Grosvenor Hotel in Park Lane, Westminster.

  • Isaac is a 13 year old journalist. He won the First News School Newspaper Awards Young Reporter of the Year last summer. First News is a national weekly newspaper for children. First News said: “We’ve uncovered a genius and a star of the future with Isaac, our Young Reporter of the Year. Isaac has worked brilliantly to make politics a more accessible and interesting topic for young people and children.”

Pictured top: Isaac Motalib-Haque with Dr Joe Spence (Picture: Dulwich College)

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