London maths teacher wins £33,000 global prize for pandemic efforts

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A maths teacher from a school in south-west London has won a global Covid Hero Award for his efforts during the pandemic.

Jamie Frost, who works at Tiffin School in Kingston upon Thames, received a one-off prize of 45,000 dollars (£33,000) for going above and beyond in the coronavirus crisis to help keep pupils learning.

Mr Frost, whose free online learning platform was used by students around the world, was one of 10 finalists shortlisted for the sixth annual Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize.

Comedian and actor Stephen Fry announced on Thursday that Ranjitsinh Disale, a village primary school teacher from India who was praised for improving the education of girls, had won the million-dollar (£742,000) prize.

In his winning speech, Mr Disale said he would share half of the prize money with the nine runners-up in the competition – the first time the Global Teacher Prize winner has done this.

During the virtual ceremony broadcast from the Natural History Museum in London, actor Forest Whitaker announced that Mr Frost had been awarded special recognition.

His Dr Frost Maths tuition website – which had more than million page views a day when schools shut amid Covid-19 – has had more than seven million teaching resource downloads.

In a video message, Whitaker said: “Your creativity and dedication have illuminated millions of minds for free. Thank you, Jamie. Thank you to all the world’s teachers.”

Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker offered his thanks to Jamie Frost (Ian West/PA)

“It’s such an honour to receive this award and I’m just so happy that so many students have been able to benefit from my site, and that’s what I want really.”

Mr Frost was selected from more than 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries for the Global Teacher Prize.

In a video message, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Mr Frost’s “ingenuity” had “given hope and support to millions of children throughout the world”.

Mr Johnson added: “It’s been incredible to see how teachers have adapted to home learning and used technology to continue with lessons throughout the pandemic.

“You don’t just represent the heroic teachers in the United Kingdom but also across the whole world.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “I would like to send my warmest congratulations and thanks to Jamie for his outstanding innovation and dedication in helping pupils and fellow teachers around the world.

“It is a truly remarkable story, and I am pleased he is receiving the worldwide recognition he thoroughly deserves.”

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