Winston Best, the eldest child of Lillian and Luther Best from Sugar Hill St Joseph, was born on 15 Aug 1930. He came to England in 1961 and after working for British Rail, went to teacher training college at the Sydney Webb College of Higher Education. He started his career as a teacher in 1966 and continued in education throughout his working life. Starting as a primary school teacher, Winston’s goal was always to improve teaching standards, and the educational achievements of black and Afro- Caribbean children as they struggled against low expectations.
He campaigned against bussing, banding and streaming in Haringey in the 1960s, a policy born of the fear that black students would depress overall educational performance. He was also a founding member of the Caribbean Education and Community Workers Association (CECWA) and the Caribbean Teachers Association (CTA).
In the 1980s, Winston worked for the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) as an education officer, developing links with the Ministry of Education in Barbados and developing an exchange program that allowed Barbadian teachers to bring their expertise and experience to London schools whilst providing positive role models. Winston was also appointed Chair of Westphi Academy, an education and training consultancy that broke new ground as one of the first black national consultancy groups in the UK. In 1989, he co-founded the National Association of Supplementary Schools (NASS) and was appointed a primary schools inspector.
In the 1990s, as Inspector of Primary Schools for the London Borough of Hackney, he strived for improvements in outcomes for children in the borough. After retirement he continued his vocation, working as a consultant for Southwark Education Authority.
Winston co-founded the Caribbean Volunteers Readers & Performers Project (CVRPP) in 1999, an initiative that grew out of the work of Herbie Yearwood, former Deputy High Commissioner in the Barbados High Commission, London, who was eager that the High Commission should take an active interest in the experience of Barbadian and other Caribbean heritage children in London’s schools.
Passionate about Barbados, he shared his time in his later years between London and Barbados until he died on March 18, 2014. His legacy has been to raise expectations of Afro-Caribbean children whilst changing perceptions and mind-sets within the educational establishment. He was survived by his sons Kwame and Ian.