BY Ryan McDougall | October 25 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Catholic woman named headteacher of the year in national awards

A Catholic headteacher has been named as headteacher of the year at a national awards ceremony in London.

Lisamaria Purdie, headteacher of St Ninian’s Primary School, Livingston, was awarded Headteacher of the Year at a Primary School at the UK Pearson Training Awards.

In June this year, Mrs Purdie was also named Headteacher of the Year at the Scottish Education Awards for her outstanding work at St Ninian’s.

Teaching staff from across the UK attended the awards ceremony in London hosted by BBC presenters Tina Daheley and Sean Fletcher.


Mrs Purdie said she felt ‘overwhelmed and blown away’ after receiving the award.

“It all started because the staff, parents and children gave up their time to nominate me—it means so much that they did that,” she said.

“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’d encourage other people out there to vote next year for a special person in their school as there’s so many people doing great things in all our schools. It’s nice that they are thanked and recognised by that.”

Mrs Purdie credited her father as a source of support throughout her teaching career. She said: “He’s really excited to see the ceremony when it’s broadcasted. He’s been a big support to me right throughout my career and my whole life.”


At the ceremony, judges said Mrs Purdie’s ‘passion for education embodies all that is important in the 21st century.’

“She is an innovated and motivational leader who is forward thinking and inspirational,” the judges said.

“Lisamaria has engaging and effective communication skills which allow her to reach out and touch everyone both in school and in the wider community.

“She is a distributive leader who recognises her staff’s strengths and creates an open-door policy ensuring effective communication for all.”

The judges highlighted her work in ensuring St Ninian’s is central to the local community, including transporting shopping to families stuck during winter snows and organising a ‘parent boot camp’ to get families into shape.

St Ninian’s High

John McKean, principal teacher of language and communication resource at St Ninian’s High School, Kirkintilloch, was also honoured with a silver award in the Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School category.

Mr McKean previously won teacher of the year at the Scottish Education Awards, before picking up his UK trophy.

He previously told the SCO the award was ‘fantastic recognition’ of the hard work put in by the whole school team, which helps the young people ‘overcome the challenges that they face and to support them to reach their potential.’

The awards will be broadcasted on the BBC2’s Britain’s Classroom Heroes on Saturday October 26 at 5.30pm.

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