Heysham High assistant head scoops prestigious US grant

Matthew Hood.
Matthew Hood.

An assistant headteacher at Heysham High School is one of just 15 people in the north west to be awarded a prestigious fellowship.

Matthew Hood has won a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, and plans to use it spending a month studying teacher training at graduate schools of education in different locations in the USA this summer.

Matthew Hood.

Matthew Hood.

Mr Hood, who is 30 and lives in Lancaster, said: “One of the categories you can apply for the fellowship in is education, and they look for individuals doing particular pieces of work that would be enhanced by going to other places.

“I am particularly interested in how teachers learn and how their training continues throughout their career.”

Mr Hood, who splits his time between working at Heysham High and for an education charity, plans to use his grant to travel to colleges in San Diego, Boston, Nashville, New York and New Orleans.

He will then write a report on his findings on his return.

Mr Hood, who has worked at Heysham High for nearly two years, was fortunate enough to be awarded the fellowship after going through a rigorous written application and panel interview selection process.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust awarded 150 Travelling Fellowships across the UK, 15 of them – totalling £93,800 – to people in the north west.

Between them, the 15 Fellows will travel to 12 countries, across four continents, where they will carry out a wide range of projects.

Since its inception in February 1965, more than 5,250 ordinary British men and women have been awarded Churchill Fellowships, from more than 100,000 applicants.

The ethos remains the same five decades on – for individuals to visit different parts of the world in pursuit of new and better ways of tackling a wide range of social, environmental, medical and scientific issues.

The new approaches and innovative ideas with which they return are then shared to benefit their local and regional communities, and, in many cases, the nation.