Sylvia Morris had an ambition to teach even when she was a child, she gained a scholarship to a grammar school in Manchester and moved to London in 1970 to train as a teacher. Sylvia has been a primary teacher for 40 years in 7 schools, and 5 local education authorities. She started teaching in the East End of London, moved to Kent for 12 years and taught an age range from 3-14 year olds. She returned to London (Brixton), as Deputy Head of a Church school in Lambeth, moved to Westminster for her first headship and on to Cathedral School Southwark, for the last 20 years. She has a Masters Degree from London University in Educational Administration and Management and is a member of the Institute of Directors.
During her time at Cathedral School (a very deprived area of South London), she transformed the school from failure to outstanding in 5 years and sustained the outstanding judgement for a further 3 inspections. An advisor to the DFE and to Ministries of Education in Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Iraq, South Africa and Zimbabwe, Sylvia formed very successful education partnerships both in the UK and abroad. During the past 15 years Sylvia has been an executive Head Teacher, an accredited School Improvement Advisor, a National Leader of Education and a senior school improvement advisor in her home local authority - London Borough of Southwark. Sylvia is renowned for ensuring all pupils - irrespective of background - achieve the best possible both academically and in the broader curriculum.
Sylvia has appeared on Radio 4, BBC 1 on numerous occasions to discuss a wide range of education issues and has contributed to a number of education publications.
Sylvia 'retired' as a Head teacher in December 2011 and set up her own business as a consultant, supporting a wide range of education organisations, charities, local authorities and schools. Her consultancy work is highly commended for impact by Her Majesty's Inspectorate and local authority directors. She was ennobled in 2011 as a Dame Commander for her services to education at home and abroad.
Sylvia is Vice Chair of Newcomen Collett Charity, a Trustee of Temple Grove Trust, and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers. She was a volunteer at the London 2012 Olympics - press and media team leader at the main athletics stadium - and responsible for managing 4,000 international press and media officers for 6 weeks.
Sylvia enjoys music, art, travelling, theatre and reading. When she really retires she intends to complete a fine arts degree!
Dame Sylivia is an active member of our Grant-Making Committee and also helped with the research and production of our SummerGive campaign video.