Meet The Best Teacher In The World, Andria Zafirakou


Andria Zafirakou, who teaches at Alperton Community School, has won the prestigious Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize and is now the best teacher in the world. 

The award, which recognises a teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession, has a prize of $1 million (about £715,000). And the 39-year-old is a worthy winner – she has guided youngsters from one of the poorest areas of the country and helped pupils from a variety of backgrounds. This included learning basic greetings in many of the 35 languages spoken at the school, including Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil and Portuguese, to help parents feel welcome and included.

Ms Zafirakou, the first British teacher to be awarded the prize, paid tribute to the power of the arts after being named the winner. She said: ‘I was shocked. I was completely overwhelmed. I didn’t realise it was me.’

She said teachers in the UK ‘work extremely hard’, adding: ‘This award goes out to all of us.’ Asked what she will do with the prize money, she said: ‘I’m going to be patient, I’m going to reflect, but as you know I think it would be really fantastic if I could think about how the arts could be celebrated even further within our school community.’