Churchill Fellowships awarded to people working in Education

Published: 24 Mar 2016

Churchill Fellowships awarded to people working in Education

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, in partnership with the Mercers' Company, has just awarded twelve Travelling Fellowships to people involved in teaching and related policy and research.

The aim is to contribute to an educational agenda that ensures young people are prepared for a successful future.

With the average primary school teacher working over 55 hours a week, time for reflection and personal development is in short supply.   

The Churchill Fellows will spend between 4 and 8 weeks investigating new ideas and examples of best practice in educational policy, research and teaching in countries across the world.

This is the third year of a partnership with The Mercers’ Company, during which time 33 Fellowships have been awarded – an investment of over £200,000 in British education specialists. Past projects include research into storytelling, provision for students with autism, improving literacy levels, and the teaching of coding.

This year’s Fellows include:

• Matthew Hood, an assistant head teacher from Lancaster, who will be going to the USA to learn from graduate schools of education.

• Jon Clarke, a senior deputy head from Walsall, who will be going to the USA to examine the impact of expeditionary learning schools in inner city areas.

• Sophie Cobb, an assistant head teacher from Bristol, who will be going to Canada to explore the development of interventions for the wellbeing of vulnerable children.

• Anna Cooper, a maths specialist from London, who will be travelling to Australia and Japan to investigate new approaches to problem-solving in maths.

• Richard Hall, from Nottingham, who is Director of Programmes at Ignite Futures. He will be travelling to India and South Korea to research development of practical opportunities to engage children's curiosity.

• Thomas Beresford, a project coordinator and researcher from London, who will be travelling to the USA to explore approaches to student-centred learning.

• Richard Donnelly, who is Director of Connecting the Curriculum and Grand Challenges at UCL Academy, London. He will be going to the USA to explore cross-disciplinary curriculum design.

• Jessica Barratt, who is the founder and CEO of Franklin Scholars in London. She will be travelling to Brazil and the USA to research youth-led innovations in education.

• Caireen Northeast, a development manager from Bury St Edmunds, who will be travelling to India to investigate creative uses of digital technology with sensory impaired children.

• William Ross, an assistant head teacher from Hackney Wick, who will be travelling to New Zealand and the USA to research alternative models of education for engaging disaffected students.

• Rosie Clayton, an education consultant from Manchester, who will be going to Canada and the USA to study the development of learning communities through supercharging creative and digital curricula in schools, and building new school movements.

• Dr James Perkins, a physics teacher from Dunkirk, who will be going to North America, Finland, Germany and Turkey to investigate best practice for science research in a high-school setting.

Julia Weston, Chief Executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust said:

“Churchill Fellows travel globally and return with innovative ideas and a commitment to sharing their findings to help others in the UK. These Fellows will provide a valuable insight into cutting-edge global practices in education, with their own communities and the wider teaching profession benefitting as a result.”  

Notes to Editors:

We formed an Educational partnership with The Mercers’ Company ( to jointly fund 10 Fellowships a year from 2013-2015, to develop linked projects to improve the educational achievement of young people aged 5-19. Building on this, the partnership for 2016 has focused on learning how schools, in particular, can best prepare their students for success in the 21st Century. The Mercers’ Company is the Premier Livery Company of the City of London, with a 700 year old history stretching back to the 12th Century. Today the Company’s purpose is primarily philanthropic, utilising income derived mainly from its property portfolio in the West End and the City. The Company, and its associated charitable trusts, support work in the areas of education, general welfare, church and faith, and arts and heritage.