Bloomsbury wins 7-way auction for teacher Zafirakou's book

Bloomsbury wins 7-way auction for teacher Zafirakou's book

Bloomsbury has triumphed in a seven-way auction to publish “the best teacher in the world”, Andria Zafirakou, who helped transform her London school and won a global teaching prize worth $1million (£765,000).

Those Who Can, Teach is the "remarkable and moving story of how Zafirakou changed the lives of her students in Brent, north-west London through art, compassion and empathy,” Bloomsbury said, with publication scheduled for September. 

Last March, the art and textiles teacher won the $1m ($£765,000) Global Teacher Prize – the first British teacher to do so. Plucked from a longlist of 30,000, she was singled out for her work helping to transform Alperton from one of the most disadvantaged schools in the country, into one that ranked in the top 1–5% in the UK for improving children’s achievement.

It will recount her journey from a young trainee teacher through the early days at Alperton community school as she struggled with the lack of funding, language barriers, gang influence and poverty among her students, to today, "where she has become a beloved figure to her students and fellow teachers – and fierce campaigner for the importance of teaching art in schools".

Bloomsbury’s publishing director Alexis Kirschbaum and commissioning editor Angelique Tran Van Sang acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Those Who Can, Teach from Rachel Mills, now at Rachel Mills Literary,  after a seven-way auction.

Billed as “rousing call to arms for a profession under siege, a hymn to teaching and to teachers, full of moving feats of compassion and aspiration, Those Who Can, Teach is set to redefine the role of teaching in our society,” the publisher said.

Kirschbaum said of the author: "What an uncompromising, rare and inspiring person she is."

Tran Van Sang said: ‘I couldn’t be more excited to be working with Andria, whose hard work, dedication to her students, and all-round passion for her job is utterly infectious and endlessly inspiring.”

 Zafirakou said: "I hope my book helps to raise the profile and to celebrate the extraordinary work that teachers all around the world do, and shines a spotlight on the issues and realities that our young people face on a daily basis."