(L to R): Graeme Lawrie MBE, Partnerships Director, ACS International Schools and Tim Cagney, CEO, ACS International Schools

ACS International Schools (@ACSintschools) has been announced as one of 102 @Pearson National Teaching Silver Award winners across the country. Selected from thousands of nominations, ACS received the honour in the Impact through Partnership category, for its outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children it works with every day.

ACS, which has three UK campuses in Egham, Cobham and Hillingdon, and one in Doha, Qatar, offers an international education to students aged 2-18, and became a registered charity in September 2018 with a mission to advance education. The overarching aim of ACS’s partnerships work is to help address issues of inequality and ensure that all youngpeople across the region have access to the highest quality education and learning experiences, and are also able to realise their potential to make a positive difference to their local and global communities.

From March 2020 and ongoing throughout the pandemic, ACS identified keys areas of need and launched a number of initiatives to support people in its local community. Ensuring teaching excellence could continue despite challenges of remote learning, over the past year ACS Partnerships, led by its Partnerships Director Graeme Lawrie MBE, has worked with partner schools in its local community to share best practice and valuable teaching resources. In the early weeks of the pandemic ACS also developed instructional videos and hosted online professional development workshops to support teachers. Later in 2020, ACS used its own teachers and external experts to create high quality video content to support remote teaching.

In January 2021, ACS donated 300 brand new laptops to 20 of its partner state primary schools in order to support local children without access to technology at home.  ACS also adapted its established technology outreach box programme so it could continue throughout the pandemic. The programme involves the loan of state-of-the-art technology – including AR headsets, 360 cameras and robots – to partner schools, along with training sessions, to enable the schools to deliver enhanced technology-based lessons. ACS also fundraised more than £17,000 for the ‘Magic Breakfast’ charity which then delivered 56,000 nutritious breakfasts to children in need.

ACS has now been shortlisted to win one of just 15 Gold Awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC. The Silver Award winners are being honoured as part of the wider celebrations for ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, a national campaign to honour and recognise school staff for their incredible work.

Graeme Lawrie MBE, Partnerships Director, ACS International Schools, said: “I am delighted, on behalf of ACS, for our partnerships work to be acknowledged through this award. During such a challenging year for so many families, our partnership activities have never been so important and I am pleased we have been able to work together to support our local communities in impactful ways. I look forward to these relationships growing.”

Tim Cagney, CEO, ACS International Schools, comments:

“We are so proud of our partnerships activity and the impact that we are able to have for children, families and teachers in our local communities; to be recognised by the prestigious Pearson National Teaching Awards is a fantastic achievement. Our commitment has been, and remains, to support our community and advance education, even in these uncertain times, and we’re looking forward to continuing our partnerships activities and assessing the effects of our projects to see where our activity can have the greatest impact."

Debbie Willemse, Headteacher of Oakfield Junior School, one of the schools which received a laptop donation from ACS, comments:

“We are so grateful to Graeme Lawrie at ACS International Schools for the kind donation of Chromebooks. This generous donation has been warmly welcomed by all pupils, parents and staff at Oakfield. It made providing learning to those pupils offsite so much more manageable and effective and will serve as a valuable learning resource onsite. Thank you!”

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