The headteacher at an “outstanding school” that is helping Syrian and Afghan refugee children has been shortlisted for a national ‘teacher of the year’ award.

Braintcroft E-ACT Primary Academy head Andrea Rosewell learned last week that she is a finalist in the Pearson National Teaching Awards.

She has been recognised for having raised the Neasden school into one of the country’s top five per cent, with her emphasis on each child receiving personalised learning where their individual needs and potential are nurtured.

“It is lovely to be shortlisted for the national award,” Andrea said. “But the real prize when it comes to being a headteacher is seeing the positive impact you can have on the education and life chances of children.”

Afghan and Syrian refugees are among the pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds who find Braintcroft “a sanctuary of hope” and not just an educational institution.

Her initiatives include starting up support groups for women in domestic violence to foster a strong community spirit that underpins the school’s ethos of holistic approach to education, balancing academic rigour with compassion for the individual child and their families.

The Pearson awards were started in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact inspirational headteachers can have on children’s lives. 

This year’s finalists find out on June 19 if they get a bronze or silver certificate. gold winners are being announced in November and invited to appear on BBC TV’s The One Show.

Braintcroft Academy chief executive Tom Campbell said: “We are keeping fingers crossed for Andrea, knowing that she deserves the title ‘Headteacher of the Year'.

“She works hard for a community that historically has been underserved, an inspirational leader who has cultivated an environment where learning is rigorous and richly diverse with well-rounded education that caters to children’s individual strengths and interests.”

Schools minister Damian Hinds recently congratulated Andrea on the progress of her pupils in the 2023 KS2 reading, writing and maths assessments, with Braintcroft now among the top five per cent primary schools for improvement.

The school in Warrant Road, Neasden, has high attendance rates above 96 per cent, almost two per cent above the national rate.