Ivybridge Community College headteacher Rachel Hutchinson

Ivybridge’s Rachel Hutchinson shortlisted for UK Headteacher of the Year award

Sarah Parker
Authored by Sarah Parker
Posted: Monday, May 17, 2021 - 22:47

A focus on character education and nurturing staff puts Rachel at the heart of the community

Ivybridge Community College headteacher Rachel Hutchinson has been shortlisted for the UK Headteacher of the Year accolade in the TES Schools Awards 2021

Rachel has been shortlisted thanks to her continued sympathetic development of Ivybridge Community College, one of the UK’s largest single-site schools, by bringing boundless energy into a tough-but-rewarding role.

The awards, organised by the Times Educational Supplement (Tes), recognise the most outstanding individuals and institutions that the education sector has to offer. The final results will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on Friday 25 June 2021.

“It’s a great honour to have first been nominated and now to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award,” said Rachel.  “Leading a school of 2,500 children and 275+ staff is not simply about academic success.  At Ivybridge Community College we aim to give our students a rounded educational experience, setting the path towards academic success and enrichment. It’s encouraging to know that this philosophy has been recognised by those at the forefront of UK education.”

Rachel’s mission, to ‘champion every child’, provides a rich set of blended opportunities, regardless of a child’s interests, talents, background or academic ability.  This ensures there is equal access to high-quality education for all students at the college, additional prospects for students, excellent academic results and wonderful enrichment opportunities.

Key to Rachel’s success is her focus on whole-school enrichment, supporting a unified team of staff, setting high expectations and striving for excellence at all times.

Thriving in an ideas-led culture, Rachel works at pace but never cuts corners, resulting in strong results and a college that is embedded into its local community.

A compassionate leader, Rachel ensures ICC is a valuable part of the community, investing in a range of measures including organising staff and students to stock local foodbanks/deliver food parcels and organising ‘The Smallest Acts Of Kindness’ initiative, where parents donated ‘thank you’ presents to staff.

Michael Saltern, Chair of Governors at Ivybridge Community College, said: “Today’s announcement is well-deserved recognition for the outstanding leadership that Rachel provides at Ivybridge Community College. If I were to sum Rachel up, it would be that she is driven beyond anyone’s belief.  What drives her has never been in doubt: it is never for herself, always for others.”

Tes editor Jon Severs said: “It is more important this year than ever before to celebrate the fantastic work schools do, because in the past 12 months they have gone above and beyond to ensure pupils were able to be educated and be kept safe in extraordinary circumstances. We were inundated with entries that demonstrated just how hard the pandemic made the work of schools, and just how amazing the response from staff has been. We are looking forward to showcasing, as we do every year, just how vital our education professionals are to every facet of this country. "

To see the full list of who's in the running, pick up a copy of this week's Tes, or visit tesawards.co.uk