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We’re very excited to announce that Highgate won the award for Senior School of the Year at the 2020 TES awards on Friday 7 February. As if that wasn’t enough, we then went on to win the overall award and prestigious title of Independent School of the Year 2020! Winning two awards is a momentous achievement and we would like to thank our whole school community of pupils, families and staff who have all contributed to these well-deserved accolades.

Our Head, Adam Pettitt said “The award encompasses not only what we do as a Senior School, but also as a Junior School and a Pre-Prep which is pretty special! This was an award about the totality of what this school is, and that is the teachers, the staff, the pupils and the parent-body.

I’ve been really touched with the reaction of the pupils. It’s that sense that it means something to them which is another level of excitement that I hadn’t anticipated on Friday. It’s difficult to imagine how I could be more proud of the school than I am at this moment.

Adam Pettitt talks about winning the TES Independent School of the Year 2020 Award

What the judges said

Richard Walden, one of the judges, said the school was “very, very strong across a whole range of factors.” The panel of judges gave Highgate a glowing review, and referred to the School as “a safe, happy and exciting place that provides a nurturing and friendly environment that encourages academic excellence and personal development.

Highgate was recognised for “academic innovation” with the Senior School ‘maths jam’ – where sixthformers and teachers delivered mini talks on interesting pieces of mathematics, and the English department’s Highgate 21 initiative to develop a reading culture across the school. We were commended for our community projects and the very active, pupil-led environment committees in both the Junior School and Senior School that campaign against air pollution created by cars outside the school.

The judges picked out Highgate’s partnerships with other schools across London, both those in our Chrysalis Programme and the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham (LAET) for whom we are the principal educational sponsor. “What they have done for disadvantaged pupils, getting them into good universities, is unbelievable” said judge Julie Robinson.

The full comments of the judges can be found here

A progressive and forward-thinking school

Director of Community Partnerships, Sarah Butterworth said “I am immensely proud to work in such a progressive and forward-thinking school and excited to see how we can continue to use the strength of partnerships to tackle society’s challenges.Our Head of Communications, Clare Marie Goldsworthy remarked that “We are fortunate to have a visionary Head in Adam Pettitt, who is not afraid to innovate and bring about his vision for education and for community. I wish more of our politicians had Adam’s vision and integrity.”

The Times Educational Supplement (TES) hosts annual awards to the celebrate all that is outstanding in independent schools across the UK. This year they had a record number of entries, with over 400 attendees attending the gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. We were very proud to be shortlisted in four categories: Student Initiative of the Year (for the Environment Committee’s Sustainability Conference), Whole School initiative (for our work on the Highgate Festival alongside the local community), Independent-State School Partnership (for our work with LAET and Chrysalis partnerships) and Senior School of the Year. One of the winners of the three school of the year categories is then chosen as Independent School of the Year, which we are delighted to confirm, was Highgate School!