Announcing The Farshore Reading for Pleasure Teacher Award winners

The winners of The Farshore Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards 2021, in association with the Open University and the UK Literacy Association (UKLA), have been announced, revealing how teachers have found innovative ways to inspire reading for pleasure in the classroom.

Each year since its launch in 2017, the award has shown the determination and passion of teachers to get kids reading, but the teachers who entered the 2021 awards showed inventiveness on a never-seen-before scale as they tackled multiple lockdowns. The past year has seen a drop in 5–10-year-olds choosing to read daily or nearly every day for pleasure[i] meaning teachers had an even more vital role to play. This year’s entries saw teachers at schools across the UK, from Exeter to South Lanarkshire, united in a mission to get kids, and their families, reading despite the disruption caused by the pandemic.

The Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards 2021 were judged by:

  • Joy Court, Reviews Editor: The School Librarian Journal
  • Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education, The Open University
  • Alison David, Consumer Insight Director, Farshore
  • Fiona Evans, Head of Schools Programmes, NLT
  • Jamila Gavin, Author of Coram Boy and The Wheel of Surya trilogy
  • Cally Poplak, Executive Publisher, Farshore
  • David Reedy, UK Literacy Association

The Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards 2021 winners are:

  • Early Career Teacher Award: Phoebe Lawton, The Wilmslow Academy (Cheshire)
  • Experienced Teacher Award: Georgie Lax, Starcross Primary School (Devon)
  • Whole School Award: Jon Biddle, Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy (Great Yarmouth) and Laura Atkinson, Lapal Primary School (West Midlands)
  • School Reading Champion Award: Jenny Holder, Liverpool Learning Partnership (Liverpool) and Jill Queen, Netherburn Primary School (South Lanarkshire)

Two award categories also saw entries highly commended by the judges.

The Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards 2021 Highly Commended are:

  • Experienced Teacher Award Highly Commended:
    • Mary Jenkinson, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School (South Yorkshire)
    • Cathie Whiting, Deb Johnson and Sharon Ealing, Coleshill Heath School (Birmingham)
  • Whole School Award Highly Commended: Craig Clarke, Lea Forest Primary Academy (Birmingham)

Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education (Literacy) at The Open University, said “These awards showcase the brilliant work that teachers are doing to build the habit of reading in childhood. The vibrant reading communities built within and beyond their schools help children sustain this important habit which, as the government’s Reading Framework (DfE, 2021) highlights, makes a real impact on their learning.”


[i] For 5-7 year olds, in 2019 the figure was 41%, and in 2020 it was 31%. For 8-10 year olds, in 2019 the figure was 41%, in 2020 it was 34%. (Nielsen’s: Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer 2020.)


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