Arts teacher Andria Zafirakou was always a rule-breaker. At her inner-city London school where more than eighty languages are spoken, she would sense urgent needs; mending uniforms, calling social services, shielding vulnerable teens from gangs. And she would tailor each class to its pupils, fiercely believing in the power of art to unlock trauma, or give a mute child the confidence to speak. Time and again, she would be proved right.
So in 2018, when Andria won the million-dollar Global Teacher Prize, she knew exactly where the money would go: back into arts education for all. Because today, the UK government's cuts and curriculum changes are destroying the arts, while their refusal to tackle the most dangerous threats faced by children – cyber-bullying, gang violence, hunger and deprivation – puts teachers on the safeguarding frontline. Andria's story is a rallying wake-up call that shows what life is really like for schoolchildren today, and a moving insight into the extraordinary people shaping the next generation.