Meet the judging panel
Chair of Judges - Patrick Hayes
Director, British Educational Suppliers Association
Patrick Hayes is the Director of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), the trade association representing over 300 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, EdTech, ICT hardware and digital-content related services to the education market.
Hayes was previously on the executive team at TES Global, publishers of TES and THE and host to the largest network of teachers in the world. He had overall responsibility for M&A activity, investor relations and the TES Global advisory board.
He is a columnist for Education Today and Huffington Post and writes widely for education publications. He is Chair of Judges for the prestigious Bett Awards and Education Resources Awards.
In a voluntary capacity, he is a trustee of the non-profit Young Journalists' Academy and an active supporter of youth-education charity WORLDwrite. He also sits on the Innovate My School advisory board.
MFL Co-ordinator and Y5 Teacher, Arnhem Wharf Primary School
Cara has worked in inner-city London schools for over 5 years. She is currently working as a Year 6 intervention teacher at Lawdale Junior School and previously worked as EYFS/KS1 English Co-ordinator and MFL co-ordinator at Arnhem Wharf Primary School. She has a background in music, anthropology, and an interest in Chinese language and culture.
Cara graduated from Oxford University with a BA in Music in 2009, during which time she was awarded a Leask Scholarship and the Scottish Wagner Society's Bayreuth Scholarship. She then continued her studies at Oxford with an MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology before completing a certificate in Modern Chinese at SOAS. Prior to becoming a teacher, she spent a year learning Mandarin in Taiwan on a Taiwanese Ministry of Education 'language enrichment' scholarship. In addition to class-teaching roles, Cara has extensive experience of tutoring, as well as running Mandarin and recorder classes.
Cara has been involved in organising numerous events and discussions around education, music and politics. This has included producing, chairing and speaking at events with the Teach First Policy Network, IOI Education Forum, Battle of Ideas, Barbican 'Sound Unbound' Festival, ResearchEd, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education and at Wellington Festival of Education.
She also enjoys cooking and cycling long distances very slowly.
Educational Consultant, Publisher and Writer
Gill Budgell has worked in education for over 30 years as an early years/primary teacher, EAL teacher, researcher, writer and publisher. She specialises in English and language development in early years and primary education and has developed, published and written many outstanding and award-winning print and interactive resources.
She works with colleagues in schools nationally and internationally, researching and developing new ideas as well as delivering CPD. She has appeared on Teacher's TV Resource Review and in various online film-based CPD resources.
Gill contributes a unique blend of school-based understanding, classroom practicality, commercial reality and business acumen to the judging team.
She is the director of Frattempo Ltd which is a consultancy business specialising in educational and publishing services within the industry.
National CPD Coordinator, Computing at School
Mark Dorling is the Director of Computing for the Aspirations Academies Trust. He is an internationally recognised and multi-award winning educator. He is a primary-trained teacher with many years of both primary and secondary teaching, teacher training, school improvement, commercial authoring and editing and industry experience. Previously Mark was the National CPD Coordinator for Computing At School funded by Department for Education where he led on various national initiatives, but he is probably best known for his work in the Digital Schoolhouse project which has been rolled out nationally in 2016/17.
His vision is to see all young people receive a high quality Computing education and he is working to achieve this through a variety of exciting projects with schools trusts, education charities, commercial providers and international Governments.
Managing Director, Innovate My School
Michael is the founder and managing director of Innovate My School, a multi-platform community-driven organisation showcasing the latest education innovation from teachers and industry experts around the world.
Michael has been working in education for over 11 years, from managing the IT systems at his dad's secondary school to entertaining clusters of headteachers through his innovation speed dating events programme, which he has pioneered in the UK and the Middle East. Michael's unique position gives him unprecedented access to the latest tools and trends emerging from the education industry, and how they can positively impact teaching and learning in schools.
Advisory Teacher, Tower Hamlets
John Galloway is a specialist in the use of technology to improve educational inclusion, particularly for children and young people with special educational needs. He works for Tower Hamlets as an Advisory Teacher, and as a freelance consultant, trainer and writer. He works with all phases of schools and with learners with the broadest range of SEN.
He has spoken about his work at conferences across the UK and internationally, and is widely published as a writer, including several books, most recently co-authoring 'Learning with Mobile and Handheld Technologies' - winner of Best Book in the 2015 Technology and Innovation Awards.
Teacher of Economics and Mathematics, Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
Tony Gilland teaches economics and mathematics at the Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School in Rochester, Kent.
Prior to teaching Tony was the director of the Institute of Ideas' Debating Matters competition, overseeing its growth into a UK competition for nearly 300 schools and its expansion to India through a partnership with the British Council. As part of this work he was responsible for the introduction of Debating Matters' Topic Guides - a popular resource for schools covering controversial debate topics.
Whilst at the Institute of Ideas Tony also organised a number of events and publications on the intersection between science and society at times of public controversy; especially in relation to genetics, public health and climate change. Tony holds a degree in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford.
Head Teacher, Lindens Primary School
Simon Griffiths began his career in 1989 at Hill View Primary School in Oxfordshire where he discovered the love and passion of teaching. Since then he has had the amazing opportunity of working in a variety of different Primary Schools in Staffordshire, Birmingham and Walsall. In 2000 he gained his first Headship of an Infant School in Staffordshire and 2003 became Head teacher of Lindens Primary School, Walsall.
Learning Resource Centre Manager
Lesley has been involved in education for over 30 years. She started in the education section of the Architects Department of the Greater London Council before becoming a Special Needs Assistant at a secondary school while raising her family.
Further roles included community and family learning, International School Links, Education Business Partnership steering group membership and a founding member of our local confederation of schools. She helped set up and manage the school's Maths and Computing Specialist School programme. She is currently Learning Resource Centre Manager and Careers Coordinator. She is also a school Governor and Academy Director.
Education Researcher, Consultant and Lecturer in Modern Foreign Languages, University College London Institute of Education
Dr Shirley Lawes is an education researcher, consultant and university teacher, specialising in teacher education and modern foreign languages teaching and learning at the University College London Institute of Education.
The present focus of her research and curriculum development work is on the use of short film in MFL teaching in collaboration with the British Film Institute. She has published widely in both English and French on education policy, teacher education and the teaching of modern foreign languages and is currently writing a book on culture in language teaching.
Shirley is also a Chevalier dans l'ordre des Palmes Académiques awarded by the French Ministry of Education for her contribution to the promotion of the French language and culture.
Writer and Journalist
A former teacher, Sal is now a freelance journalist writing about education, disabilities and technology.
Sal covers all aspects of special needs from dyslexia to physical disabilities, deafness to mental health issues, and the ways in which technology can level the playing field for young people who struggle to achieve in school, college of the workplace.
At present Sal is focusing on the early years' sector helping nurseries become more inclusive. She co-wrote the PACEY A4 guide Caring for children with SEND.
Professor of Education, The Institute of Education Futures, De Montfort University
Dr Christina Preston has been active in the EdTech field since she founded the MirandaNet Fellowship (mirandanet.ac.uk) in 1992. The Fellowship is a global thought leader with over 1,000 members in 80 countries.
Members' research into the impact of technology and learning and run action research CPD programmes developing communities of practice.
MirandaNet practice based research has been funded by the European Union, charities, government agencies and associate companies who are keen to working in partnership with practitioners.
TES Product Director (Teacher Network)
Michael is one of the product directors at TES, focussing on improving the way the site supports its global network of teachers.
He joined the Times Educational Supplement as a journalist in 2002, eventually becoming deputy editor before switching to the digital side in 2013. Since then he has launched a range of online tools and apps for teachers, including teaming up with Lord Jim Knight to establish TES's online professional development courses, which won a BETT Award last year .
His teams have since worked on projects including the new TES school portal, shortlisted in the leadership and management category at this year's BETT Awards . He was one of the authors of Openness and Education, published by the United Nations University and the European Learning Industry Group, and is still sometimes blamed for helping to coin the phrase "happy slapping".
Computing and Online Safety Adviser and Business Development Lead, Havering Education Services
Dave provides computing and online safety support for schools and academies and is business development lead for Havering Education Services. He is a CEOP Online Safety Ambassador and part of the Havering team working with Rising Stars to develop the Bett Award winning 'Switched on Computing' series. He was formerly the Chair of the Board of Management of Naace - the Education Technology Association.
Dave enjoys exploring education technology internationally - recently addressing Japan's 'New Education Expo' conference and participating in ISTE 2016 in Denver, USA. He was previously a teacher/senior leader in 3 schools, governor of 4 schools and Assistant Marketing Director/Senior Tutor at Anglia Ruskin University's mPowerNet.
Deputy Headteacher, Fulston Manor School
Nigel is Senior Deputy Headteacher of Fulston Manor School, Sittingbourne, Kent; a very successful, large mixed wide ability school which offers a comprehensive education for students between the ages of 11-19. An experienced teacher of many years his current responsibilities include project managing two multi-million pound building projects for new learning environments. With ICT being at the core of student learning he is involved in sourcing the latest technology and software resources for current and future students. His hobbies include flying light aircraft and he enjoys using the recent developments in avionics and navigational aids.
Secondary Science Teacher, Consultant and Qualified Coach
Bukky Yusuf is a Secondary Science teacher, consultant and qualified coach. She has spent over a decade in London schools, teaching Science, A level Chemistry and Level 3 BTEC.
In her most recent school leadership role, she led a whole school initiative to enhance teaching & learning through the use of technology.
Bukky uses her experience with professional development, technology integration and effective pedagogical strategies to help teachers adopt transformative mobile learning strategies. She is an innovator in 1:1 classroom implementation and constantly explores ways to reshape the learning environment to facilitate independent learning using Google Apps for Education.
As part of her commitment to support digital leadership within education, Bukky uses social media to participate in a number of initiatives including #WomenEd, #BAMEed and #SLTchat. She frequently presents at educational events, including the world's leading Ed Tech event - Bett Show, to promote projects that help educators maintain their well-being through the use of social media (e.g. #teacher5aday). Furthermore she attends Hackathons and annual conferences for developers and technologists to back opportunities for educators to influence the role of technology within schools.
Bukky serves as an Education Board member of Innovate My School.