Mulberry Schools Trust Celebrates the Long Service of Committed Staff to Education in Local Authorities

Over 600 years of collective long service to state education by teachers and support staff will be celebrated at a special event hosted by the Mulberry Schools Trust (MST) on Wednesday 25th September 2019.

The MST Long Service Awards will recognise, acknowledge and congratulate exemplary staff across the Trust for their dedicated service to the education sector for at least 25 years. The loyal staff who reached this remarkable milestone within MST reached 21 this year and each will be honoured at the Trust’s Annual Celebration Event taking place at Mulberry Academy Shoreditch. 

Those deserving a special mention include Tosowar Ali who has taught at Mulberry Academy Shoreditch for over 27 years and Colin Walker who has diligently served the school’s Science department for almost 45 years. Celebrating at Mulberry School for Girls is Jill Tuffee with 40 years of service in education (with 34 years spent at the school) and 82 year old Mohammed Abul Hossain, who has amassed 37 years of service (19 years at the school).

MST will also acknowledge a number of governors who have provided many years of long service to our schools. Governors such as Sue Barrow, who chairs the governing body of Mulberry UTC, deserve recognition for their tireless work.

All relevant staff will be presented with a commemorative brooch and they will receive the Local Authority’s usual financial recognition. Some will be asked to share their memories with councillors and senior officers from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, as well as all staff, governors and Trustees from the MST family.

Jane Farrell, Chair of the Mulberry Schools Trust said:

“Our longest serving members of staff are role models to others and are a huge asset to this Trust. They have a wealth of knowledge and understanding about our schools, which is invaluable to us.”

Dr Vanessa Ogden, CEO of the Mulberry Schools Trust said:

“These exceptional members of staff have chosen to give most, if not all, of their careers to our schools. I want to thank them for the amazing work they do every day and all their dedication and commitment to our young people and community.”

Mrs Ruth Holden, Executive Principal of Mulberry Academy Shoreditch said:

“I am thrilled that Mulberry Academy Shoreditch is able to host such a prestigious event for the Trust. What an honour for us all to celebrate our service to our community – imagine the positive impact these members of staff have had on the lives of children.”  

Mr Tosowar Ali, Modern Foreign Languages teacher at Mulberry Academy Shoreditch said:

“I have had a fantastic career at the school and I have seen education transform the lives of many students over the years. The close friendships that I have built with my colleagues are priceless and I look forward to working here until I am due to retire.”


For further information, please contact:

Julie Cordice, Director of Marketing & Communications, Mulberry Schools Trust
Email: | Telephone: 020 7790 6327


Notes to Editors

The Mulberry Schools Trust is a flourishing multi-academy trust set up in 2016 in Tower Hamlets. The Mulberry Schools Trust currently includes Mulberry Academy Shoreditch, Mulberry School for Girls and Mulberry UTC, and is now working with the Local Authority and the DfE to build a new school in Wapping – Mulberry Academy London Dock. The Trust believes in the power of partnerships with families, other local schools and the communities that it serves.

Dame Donna Kinnair images Trust Feature story web

RCN Chief shares leadership insights and success stories


Dame Donna Kinnair images Trust Feature story webOn Monday 24th June 2019, students and staff from across the Mulberry Schools Trust were delighted to welcome Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing to Mulberry UTC.

Dame Donna inspired students with stories of her own working life in the east end of London. Having started her career as a nurse in Whitechapel, she went on to work as a health visitor in Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney. As part of the visit, Dr Ogden chaired an engaging and riveting Q&A discussion that included UTC sixth form student Zaynab Bint Zakeer, Dame Donna and Winnie George, Associate Director for Nursing at Barts Health NHS Trust. The student audience were able to ask some frank and important questions related to the funding of nursing degrees, why so few senior black and minority ethnic staff are found in senior positions across the NHS and public perceptions related to nursing being seen as a female occupation. 

UTC students were also treated to a round table discussion with Dame Donna and Winnie George and they were fascinated by the insight this gave them into the world of nursing and health care.

Sheikh Aliur Rahman, Chief Executive of the London Tea Exchange interviewed by a student at the Prince’s Trust Annual Mosaic Iftar May 2019

On Monday 20th May, Mulberry Academy Shoreditch were honoured to host the prominent Prince’s Trust Annual Mosaic Iftar 2019 at the school. Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan and is often done as a community, with Muslim people gathering to break their fast together. The Street and the Library were appropriately transformed into a magical space fit for any special celebratory occasion. Mosaic was founded by HRH the Prince of Wales to connect young people from deprived Muslim communities to relatable role models to help increase their confidence and improve their chances of fulfilling their potential. The event brought together influential leaders from diverse backgrounds Princes Trust Iftar Photo 1 002including senior government officials, philanthropists, successful business owners and charity bosses to celebrate the achievements of Mosaic, its ambassadors and the positive impact the programme has on students’ lives.

Mrs Holden, Executive Principal, officially opened the evening and a particularly lovely moment of the night was the meeting between Mr Ali, a teacher at the school for nearly 30 years and Sheikh Aliur Rahman, Chief Executive of the London Tea Exchange in Brick Lane. Sheikh Aluir is one of the school’s alumnae and it was the first time he had returned to the school since leaving many years ago. He had no idea Mr Ali was going to be present and was clearly moved by this very special encounter.

John Booth, Chairman of the Prince’s Trust paid tribute to the many ambassadors and supporters of the charity, as well as mentioning how important the Mosaic programme is to HRH the Prince of Wales. Students Fares (Year 9), Jahan and Freddie (Year 10) were great ambassadors for the school as they took to the stage and wowed the audience with a short presentation that eloquently communicated the transformational effects of Mosaic on their everyday lives – and their futures. Some of the UK’s key influencers joined the ‘To See Is To Believe’ interview panel led by students Ranya (Year 10) and Afis (Year 12). The panel included Asad Ahmad, BBC London News Presenter and Mosaic Ambassador, Sheikh Aliur Rahman, Dr Rimla Akthar MBE, FA Council Member and Dawood Gustave, CEO and Imagination Officer at Reluctantly Brave. Mr Ahmad noted that the two students definitely had a career in TV due to their confidence and expert interview techniques!

Our CEO, Dr Ogden, spoke passionately about the changing needs of young people in our communities and the work of the Mulberry Schools Trust that ensures all students receive the high-quality education they deserve. Shabir Randeree CBE, Chair of Mosaic and Trustee of The Prince’s Trust gave a summary of Mosaic’s ongoing work and future ambitions. The evening ended with Imam Mohammed Mahmoud OBE from the East London Mosque leading the call to prayer ahead of the meal.

Princes Trust Iftar Photo 5 002

Princes Trust Iftar Photo 2 002

Emily Lawson, National Director: Transformation and Corporate Operations, NHS England


Emily Lawson 2


On Tuesday 30th April, students from across the Mulberry Schools Trust welcomed Emily Lawson from NHS England to Mulberry UTC. As the National Director: Transformation and Corporate Operations, Ms Lawson’s directorate includes key corporate functions which supports the effectiveness and efficiency of the NHS. As one of the largest employers in the world, Ms Lawson encouraged students to think about the many exciting career opportunities available within the NHS beyond being a doctor, nurse or paramedic. Students were also fascinated in some of the technological advances that are currently used across the NHS, including artificial intelligence and the digital technology that sits behind the launch of the new NHS app. Ms Lawson was then taken on a tour of the UTC’s state-of-the-art facilities including its health suite and creative spaces. We look forward to keeping in touch with Ms Lawson and following up on some of the amazing contacts that will ensure our students’ learning journeys are enriched.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London with Mulberry students and Mrs Ruth Holden, Executive Principal

Sadiq Khan


On 29th April students in Year 10 and 12 joined Mayor Sadiq Khan in attending the prestigious Asian Women of Achievement Awards at the London Hilton Hotel, Park Lane. The awards are coordinated and hosted each year by Women of the Future, an organisation founded by British-Asian entrepreneur Pinky Lilani CBE, to raise the profiles of inspiring women, commend their work, and provide opportunities for them to mentor girls at school. The AWA Awards showcase inspiring women from Asian backgrounds, introducing our students to a powerful network of role models.

Riz Lateef, journalist and broadcaster

Riz Latif

 On Friday 5th April, Riz Lateef, journalist and broadcaster for the BBC, visited Mulberry School for Girls and spoke to a variety of students including those studying film and media.  Ms Lateef also visited several classrooms during her visit where students were able to showcase their work.


Mark Carney Rushanara Ali

Dr Mark Carney and Rushanara Ali MP visit

Mark Carney Rushanara Ali

On Wednesday 27th February, Dr Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and Rushanara Ali MP addressed an audience of over 300 pupils from across the Mulberry family of schools. Trustees, governors and friends of Mulberry, joined pupils and staff from host school Mulberry Academy Shoreditch, Mulberry School for Girls and Mulberry UTC.

Dr Carney spoke candidly about his Canadian upbringing, education and the moral purpose that guides his decision-making. Ms Ali, a member of the House of Commons Treasury Committee and the school’s local MP, encouraged pupils to continue to work hard and support each other so that they can make a positive change to their community and country…and perhaps one day succeed her as an MP or become the next Governor of the Bank of England!

The event ended with a thought provoking Q&A panel and pupils asked robust questions focusing on the expertise and role of the Governor, monetary policy and the dynamics of markets.  

We were extremely grateful to Dr Carney and Ms Ali for making this such a memorable visit and we look forward to establishing new links with the Bank of England.

4th Annual Education Lecture

On Wednesday 13th February 2019, Mulberry Schools Trust will be holding its 4th Annual Education Lecture at the historic Royal Society of Arts in John Adam Street.

We are delighted to announce that this year’s guest speaker is journalist, writer and broadcaster Samira Ahmed. Ms Ahmed will reflect on her life and work as a journalist, commenting on current social political trends and scanning the horizon for issues of future global importance.

Our lecture series is part of our offer to provide high quality and outstanding enrichment opportunities for all our pupils to encourage the importance of leadership in employment, public life, community life and family roles. We would also like to invite our parent/carer community and the friends of Mulberry. 

Places are limited and so if you would like to reserve a place, please RSVP to AJ Agar on

Pupils Model a United Front

On Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th December, the Mulberry Schools Trust (MST) held the 27th Global Classrooms London Model United Nations (GCLMUN) conference at the International Maritime Organisation, the only UN organisation with headquarters in London. GCLMUN is part of the UNAUSA’s Global Classrooms MUN programme and MST is proud to be leading the largest schools programme in the UK for this worldwide network. The bi-annual conference involves a pupil-led Secretariat and brings together hundreds of pupils from across the country, including all schools within MST. 

Pupils played the role of Ambassadors in simulations of UN committees to build an understanding of global challenges through debates and resolution writing. They were equipped with co-operation, leadership and public speaking skills, and developed as confident global citizens. Using the Universal Declaration for Human Rights as their guiding work, they considered how the international community could tackle different forms of discrimination, focusing on refugees, the LGBTQ+ community and indigenous peoples. 

Former First Lady Michelle Obama Meets Mulberry Pupils

On Monday 3rd December, as part of her European book tour, Former First Lady Michelle Obama appeared at a sold-out, in-conversation event at the Royal Festival Hall in London to celebrate her memoir BECOMING. 

During the afternoon, Mrs Obama spoke to pupils from both Mulberry School for Girls and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School about the book. 

It was an honour to be in a position to offer this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to some of our pupils, and we look forward to the development of our relationship with Mrs Obama over the coming years. 

We were also extremely proud of Nusrath Hassan, one of Mulberry School for Girls alumni and current governor of Mulberry Academy Shoreditch, who joined Mrs Obama on stage for a thought provoking panel discussion. Nusrath’s achievements and experiences are an inspiration for all pupils across the Trust.