UK Maths Teacher Jamie Frost Makes Final 10 For Us $1 Million Global Teacher Prize 2020

24 Sep 2020 |

Stephen Fry announces Jamie Frost as a top ten finalist in a moving tribute

London maths teacher Jamie Frost has been named a top 10 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2020 in partnership with UNESCO. Now in its sixth year, the US$1 million award established by the Varkey Foundation is the largest prize of its kind.

In a special video message announcing Jamie Frost as a top ten finalist, actor, comedian, and writer Stephen Fry made a moving tribute to Jamie’s work. He said:

“Today I am delighted to announce that Jamie Frost from the United Kingdom is a top ten finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2020. Jamie, you were a successful student at Oxford University, winning the Microsoft Research Prize for best undergraduate dissertation and going on to study for a PhD in Computer Science. But you quickly realised that teaching was your real calling. As well as teaching for the last eight years at the Tiffin School in Kingston upon Thames, your internationally acclaimed website for maths tuition – DrFrostMaths - has had over 7 million resource downloads and is making maths fun for children all over the world. But most impressive of all, you continue to provide your platform completely free, as you feel it is important for these resources to be available for all schools and all families, regardless of their income. Congratulations Jamie and thank you for everything you do”.

Jamie Frost, who teaches at Tiffin School, Kingston-Upon-Thames, was shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize 2020, after being selected from over 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries around the world.

Jamie is one of those extremely gifted teachers who was always destined for the classroom, even though he didn’t realise it at first. As a successful student at Oxford University, he won the Microsoft Research Prize for best undergraduate dissertation and went on to study for a PhD in Computer Science. While teaching as part of his graduate studies, the positive and enthusiastic response of his students inspired him, making him realise that he had a real passion and talent for the profession – so he arranged a week of work experience at his old school and the rest is history.

Jamie Frost, as well as teaching at Tiffin School, has also created and runs the hugely influential and ground-breaking website for maths tuition DrFrostMaths that provides an online learning platform, teaching resources, videos and a bank of exam questions to practice on, all for free. The site was developed to both support his school’s lower attaining students and galvanise those who may be disenfranchised with mathematics. However, it has now far outgrown that modest ambition.

When the coronavirus pandemic shut down schools all over the world, DrFrostMaths became a lifeline for students shut out of classrooms. Within a week, the site’s pageviews had jumped from 0.4 million to 1.3 million per day. Jamie spent every free hour he had coding to adapt the site to meet the needs of students and teachers in this new environment, developing virtual white board software and tools to help teachers monitor students’ progress in real time. He even received a donation of £10,000 to help him fund his free site and Amazon web services also donated $10,000 in server credit.

The site has now had over 7 million resource downloads and is worldwide sensation. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the site is used in some capacity by well over half of all secondary schools in the UK. Jamie travels internationally to speak about his teaching methods and his resources have been used around the world to provide teaching for schools in Zimbabwe, for disabled students, and even for 18-21 year-olds in an Ohio prison.

Jamie Frost joins South African teacher Mokhudu Cynthia Machaba, US teacher Leah Juelke and South Korean teacher Yun Jeong-hyun as a top 10 finalist. The remaining six top 10 finalists will be announced one each week in the run up to the Global Teacher Prize ceremony, which will be virtual for the very first time in its history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Global Teacher Prize is also delighted to announce that this year’s virtual ceremony, expected to take place on December 3rd 2020 where the overall winner will be announced, will be hosted by English comedian, actor, writer and presenter Stephen Fry from the Natural History Museum in London. The ceremony will also include a special recognition for one teacher – a COVID hero – who has gone above and beyond to keep young people learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With ten years to go to meet UN sustainable development goal 4 - providing a quality education for every child - the Global Teacher Prize has partnered with UNESCO to ensure teachers are right at the top of governments’ agendas.

Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director General for Education at UNESCO, said:

“Congratulations to Jamie Frost for being selected as a top ten finalist from such a huge number of talented and dedicated teachers. I hope his story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also highlight the incredible work teachers do all over the UK and throughout the world every day.

“The Global Teacher Prize helps put the teacher voice at the heart of our mission to champion inclusive learning opportunities for children and young people all over the world, especially the most marginalised and disadvantaged, during this sudden and unprecedented disruption to global education.

“Since the coronavirus pandemic first emerged, we have seen 1.5 billion learners across the world impacted by school and university closures. But not all learners are being impacted equally. Governments must act decisively to close the digital divide in education exposed by COVID-19 and find solutions to deliver effective remote education for the 706 million learners who do not have access to the internet.”

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Global Teacher Prize, said:

“The Global Teacher Prize was set up to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society. By unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that have transformed young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of teachers all over the world.

“This year, more than ever, we have seen teachers go above and beyond to keep young people learning throughout the world. Teachers everywhere should be applauded for their creativity, compassion and resolve to fulfil every child’s right to a good education”.