UK Virtual School’s founder, Syd, has always been a champion of innovation. As a woman, Syd has been constantly undermined in her field. For many decades, we have been continuously pushing for equality but women are still unfairly disadvantaged. Despite this, Syd has managed to plough through and succeed. Having experienced discrimination and inequality herself, she dedicated a lot of her time advocating for women and girls in STEM.
When Syd pioneered her business Femtinos, she offered something new; it’s unlike any other. Syd’s passion for her field led to many opportunities: outreach work, event speeches, coaching other educators, and even hosting her own radio show – among many others. Syd was a firestarter and she was unstoppable. Fast-forward to 2020, UK Virtual School was born – an innovative online school that breaks the boundaries of home education.
It came as a surprise when Syd got a notification informing her of a nomination for the Female Innovator of the Year category at The Innovation Awards 2021. She was nominated anonymously! Due to the number of outstanding entries, Syd was initially one place away from being selected as a finalist. This phase of the awards entailed a voting round and we could not have been any more grateful for all the support Syd has received. To have even been considered was already an honour. It ties in closely with one of our fundamental core values, growth mindset – it did not matter whether we made it to the finals or not, what mattered was the journey going there.
Then came the surprise of Syd actually making it to the finals! This round involved the finalists submitting a 25-minute presentation or video. In the video, Syd talked about her journey as an educator and entrepreneur. She talked about how, in various ways, innovation can elevate the atmosphere of learning. Syd also discussed how she used her influence to inspire and encourage other educators.
In many ways, Syd has always been a champion of innovation. From creating a platform to revolutionise education to uplifting fellow educators, Syd has always made sure that she’s two steps ahead. We are grateful to all the UKVS families whose never-ending support continues to motivate each team member, especially Syd herself. We’d like to thank the supporters and the panel of judges for their kind consideration and we hope they’ve all learned a thing or two from Syd’s journey. Lastly, we’d like to thank the person who sent the nomination, please reach out and we’d love to know who you are!