The education spotlight was focused on the South West this week when the Girls' Schools Association announced that the winner of its ‘Sheila Cooper Award’ was local Headmistress, Nicola Botterill from Bruton School for Girls in Somerset.
Speaking from the Association’s annual conference, President of the GSA, Alice Phillips, explained that each year this national award is presented in recognition of outstanding and significant contribution to the Association by a recently appointed Head.
Alice said: "We wished to recognise Nicky’s work on the Professional Development Committee and her role as national GSA representative to IStip, (the Independent Schools Teacher Induction Panel) which is responsible for accrediting teachers through their first year of teaching. It is a prestigious scheme which supports newly qualified teachers starting their careers in the independent sector."
Nicola added that she was genuinely taken aback and was delighted to receive the accolade:
"I firmly believe that offering teachers support and opportunities to develop professionally are key to ensuring the quality of our profession’s workforce, and thus to impact most positively on pupils’ learning. But my work for the GSA would not be possible without the full support of all of the staff within school, and as such, is an award for everyone at Bruton School for Girls."
The GSA has more than 200 members across the UK and promotes the values and benefits of an all-girls educational environment.