Award-winning headteacher of Forest Gate school retires

Kira Noronha, seven, presents flowers to Headteacher Nina Panayis as she retires after five years of

Kira Noronha, seven, presents flowers to Headteacher Nina Panayis as she retires after five years of good work at St James' Church of England Junior School, Forest Gate. - Credit: Archant

Staff, pupils, and parents said goodbye to a headteacher who turned their failing school around last week.

Nina Panayis joined St James’ Church of England Junior School, in Tower Hamlets Road, Forest Gate, five years ago after teaching at Godwin Junior School, also in Forest Gate, where she won a Pearson Teaching Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School in 2003.

She has been credited with taking the school off of special measures but she is now retiring from the profession.

After being presented with flowers, Ms Panayis joined in celebrations for an international afternoon on Tuesday where parents and pupils said farewell.

Monica Curpen, learning mentor at St James’s, said: “She has done so much for the borough.


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“She took our school out of special measures, we got a satisfactory rating last year, and this year Ofsted gave us a ‘Good’ which is excellent.

“She was the head at Godwin before and that’s when she met former Prime Minister Tony Blair when she got an award there.

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“She does a lot of work and she’s been great for the school.”

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