Celebrating “ambition, innovation and excellence” is the name of the game in the inaugural Islington Education Awards.

Islington Gazette: Actress Sian Phillips will be a presenter at the first Islington Education Awards on February 11. Photo by Nick JamesActress Sian Phillips will be a presenter at the first Islington Education Awards on February 11. Photo by Nick James (Image: Archant)

Famous faces including actress Sian Phillips and television presenter Aggie McKenzie will be on hand to dish out awards at LSO, St Luke’s from 6pm on Monday, February 11.

Among the teachers up for an award is Clare Verga, who has overseen the transformation of City of London Academy Highbury Grove from a school in special measures two years ago to one performing above the national average in January’s GCSE league tables.

She is up against Abi Misselbrook-Lovekoy (Newington Green and Rotherfield primary schools) and Nathalie Parker (Hugh Myddleton and Winton primary schools) in the headteacher of the year categories.

It is not just the top dogs up for awards however, with 12 categories – voted for by peers – including classroom support of the year,administrator of the year and premises staff of the year.

The event is being put on by the Islington Community of Schools, a group of heads, governors and council representatives that works together to try and ensure equality of experience for all children in the borough – both in education and in access to outside opportunities.

Maggie Elliott, chair of ICoS, said “We are thrilled to be hosting the first annual Islington Education Awards, where we are able to celebrate the ambition, innovation and excellence of those working with children and young people in the borough.

“Islington education is a fantastic place to work and these awards allow us to showcase the very best practice among our education professionals.”

The event is being sponsored by a variety of groups in the borough, including City, University of London and the council.

Education chief Cllr Joe Caluori, who will be stepping down from the role at the end of the month, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the contribution our amazing schools and Bright Start staff make to the lives of our young people.

“We want to make Islington the best possible place to grow up and are proud to have such a dedicated and inspirational team working with our children.

“Together, Islington can inspire excellence in everyone.”