Teaching qualifications

Inspirational Derry Teacher Honored at UK Teaching Celebration


Michael Allen joined Lisneal College in 2015 as Principal and his commitment, leadership and inspiration to all stakeholders has been nothing short of exceptional every day since.

Selected from thousands of nominations, Michael won a Gold Award at the Pearson National Teaching Awards for Principal of the Year in a high school.

The award came as part of a week of teaching celebration that will conclude this Sunday with a prestigious ceremony celebrating the 102 silver winners of the Pearson National Teaching Awards.

Michael’s powerful vision and strategic approach now mean Lisneal College is not only a recognized name locally but globally. Michael puts the needs of his students first. He advocates for their cause and is a wonderful role model when it comes to his work ethic, strong value system, responsibility and professionalism.

His exceptional leadership has resulted in a dramatic increase in school enrollment and, through gradual changes and improvements, he has taken the College’s offering to another level.



The winners of the Pearson National Teaching Award were honored for their incredible work supporting learners across the country. Each winner has repeatedly gone beyond their role to change the lives of their students and help them move towards a better future.

The awards are an annual celebration of educational excellence, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognize the impact an inspiring teacher can have on the lives of the young people he works with. Applications for the 2022 Pearson National Teaching Awards will open on Friday, November 26, 2021.


Sir Michael Morpurgo, famous author and former winner for children, and president of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “People of all ages will always remember this wonderful teacher who made such a difference in their lives.

“The teacher will never know how many lives they have changed, or the impact they have had on so many families, but we hope these awards help show our gratitude.”


Sharon Hague, Executive Director of Pearson School Qualifications, said: “Michael Allen is a shining example of the wonderful educators who work tirelessly across the country to provide the best possible experience for their students, and we thank them all.

“Throughout the awards, we heard so many inspiring stories from school and college employees who demonstrate exceptional dedication to their students, colleagues and communities. Our congratulations go to all of the winners for their awards.


Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “I would like to congratulate Michael Allen for this recognition of their incredible work and dedication to their students. Winning one of these awards is a tremendous achievement and a testament to Michael’s skill, commitment and passion for teaching.

“We are fortunate to have some of the best teachers in the world and I want to thank each of our education staff for their hard work in supporting children and youth, especially during the pandemic.”


Paul Mattias, National Director of Hays Education, supporter of the Director of the Year Award, said: “We work with thousands of schools across the country and know all too well the impact of a truly inspiring leader.

“Michael Allen is clearly that, and their story shows us how much they are respected by anyone who comes in contact with them. They are deserving recipients of this award, and we wish them the best for their future careers.”


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