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The UK’s Top Educators Honoured at Prestigous National Teaching Awards Ceremony

Educators from early years, schools and colleges across the country have been announced gold award winners at the Pearson National Teaching Awards for their dedication to students.

The 2023 Pearson National Teaching Awards, considered the ‘Oscars’ of the teaching profession, last night celebrated the extraordinary efforts of educators across the country. Amid the night’s celebrations, nine teachers were presented with gold awards for their dedication to their students and the wider community. In addition to the inspirational gold winners being celebrated at the glittering awards ceremony in London, seven winners were also revealed on BBC’s The One Show from 20 – 24 November.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration that honours the outstanding achievements of educators. It’s run by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity now in its 25th year, and sponsored by Pearson, the world’s leading learning company. These awards celebrate the transformative impact of education, shining a spotlight on the pivotal roles of teachers, support staff, colleges, schools and early years educators and the work they deliver every single day.

Thousands of educational professionals across the UK were nominated for an award. Judged by Pearson National Teaching Awards panel members, the winners were selected based on practical evidence of inspirational teaching and learning in the classroom, contribution to the wider life of the school and community and examples of influence amongst colleagues.

In the presence of colleagues and special guests the host for the evening, TV presenter and radio broadcasterGaby Roslin, announced the gold award winners. Gaby presented the first Awards ceremony back in 1999 at Alexandra Palace and reminisced with founder Lord David Puttnam, also present on the night, about the charity’s significant achievements in elevating the profession over its 25-year history.

Among the winners announced were Sharples School who received the ‘Award for Making a Difference – Secondary School of the Year’, for ensuring school experiences are truly inclusive. The school took 60 disadvantaged and visually impaired students to Seville for free, 48 of whom had never been abroad. The school also organised a fantastic trip which took 320 students to a sleepover in a science museum.

Lorna Cannon was also announced gold award winner for ‘Teaching Assistant of the Year’ and was praised for the creative and unique ways she supports children in their learning. She once transformed the Year 3/4 classroom into a cave to create a truly immersive experience as the children learnt about the Stone Age.

The gold award winner for ‘FE Lecturer of the Year’ went to Rachel Bown, a special educational needs and disabilities PE practitioner. She designed a county-wide Rainbow Run to encourage all pupils to find joy in moving their bodies and runs the ‘I Can Lead’ courses that support pupils with the most complex needs to develop communication skills, promoting independent learning. In her personal life, Rachel has not only overcome the challenges that came with a brain tumour diagnosis in 2017 but now proudly races for Team GB in Triathlon.

The evening showcased the incredible work teachers do, going above and beyond what is required to make students’ educational experiences not only valuable but unforgettable.

A full list of winners is available on the Teaching Awards website. With an inspiring lineup of winners in 2023 there is also an opportunity for educators across the country to be recognised in the 2024 Pearson National Teaching Awards. Entries are now open and submissions can be made through the Pearson National Teaching Awards website.

Michael Morpurgo, author, former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said:

“We all know that a great teacher can enrich your life, can help you rise to the challenge, believe in yourself, find your own voice. I know that because it happened more than once to me. That’s why these Teaching Awards are so important, and important to me. Every year, without fail, we see nominations which move and inspire us and this year we have seen stellar examples of life-changing role models for young people. I want to once again congratulate the winners of the 2023 Pearson National Teaching Awards and thank them for the incredible impact they have on our communities.”

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of Schools at Pearson UK, said:

“It’s an honour to celebrate and express gratitude to our teachers and theincredible impact they have on our communities. The hard work that goes into teaching and showing up for students day in and day out cannot be underestimated. Congratulations to all winners and thank you for your continuous efforts.”

Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan said:

“The impact of a teacher on a child’s life can be immeasurable – I know it was for me. I am so grateful to all the staff in our schools and colleges for everything they do. This year marks 25 years of the Teaching Awards Trust, which is a huge landmark. Teachers change lives and we should all feel a sense of gratitude to those we are celebrating today. Thank you again and congratulations.”

2023 Pearson National Teaching Award Gold Award Winners:

David Jones, Additional Learning Needs Transition Coordinator at Pembrokeshire College The Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education, supported by LogitechAt Pembrokeshire College, David supports young adults with additional learning needs and disabilities and other vulnerable groups of learners. Colleagues have declared the word ‘no’ is not in his vocabulary. When presented with a barrier, David will come up with several creative suggestions as to how it can be overcome to get his pupils the support they need to allow them to achieve their full potential.
Dr Jo Turner, Deputy Head of Science at Callington Community College The Award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, supported by Nord Anglia EducationDr Joe Turner creates engaging, exciting and immersive lessons for her science students in Callington Community College. Students say her classes “make you feel indestructible” which has translated into some exceptional outcomes for young people who have a love of the subject.
Farhan Adam, Headteacher at Crown Hills Community College The Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School, supported by Hays EducationIn 2017 Farhan Adam became the headteacher of Crown Hills Community College and he immediately collaborated with staff to redefine the college mission statement and values. Since then his commitment to not only students but staff well-being is widely recognised and celebrated by staff and members of the community.
Hope School The Award for Impact through PartnershipHope School is a Special School that supports children aged 5 – 11 years old with Social, emotional and mental health needs. Through the formation of the HEARTs project, in partnership with the local authority, they are sharing their skills and expertise to have a positive impact on other institutions, enabling them to have the best outcomes possible.
HRUC Uxbridge College, Performing Arts Department The Award for FE Team of the Year, supported by the Department of EducationThe performing arts team at HRUC Uxbridge College is known as the heart of the college Their vibrant performances and family-like bond are admired across the school. With many of the team still performing professionally, they have been truly credible role models and inspirations to students.
Lorna Cannon, Teaching Assistant at Margaretting at Church of England Primary School The Award for Teaching Assistant of the YearIn her 20 years of working at Margaretting Church of England Primary School, Lorna’s creative flair has led to the creation of hundreds of bright displays which have proven to have the remarkable ability to get otherwise disengaged children involved in activities. Her speech and language resources have been so successful they are now being used across the school trust.
Manjit Nahal, Lead lunchtime supervisor at Bridgetown School The Award for Unsung Hero of the YearManjit maximises all opportunities for the children and staff at Bridgetown School to have a positive school experience. From her Top Table scheme, where she creates a fine dining experience to celebrate student’s achievements, to her decorating teachers’ classrooms on their birthdays, Manjit’s generosity knows no bounds.
Maria Carlton, Executive Head Teacher at Bewley and Kirklevington Primary School The Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School, supported by Hays EducationMaria’s proactive and personable approach at Bewley and Kirklevington Primary School can be seen through her daily commitment to personally meet and greet staff, pupils and parents/carers. She is both a strong advocate of pupil voice and the child’s rights, always encouraging children to shine brightly and be proud of who they are, their achievements and successes and her supportive nature ensures that staff can come through times of challenge and adversity with her to support and guide.
Matthew King, Deputy Head of Science at Trinity St Peter’s The Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School, supported by RandstadMatthew is described by Trinity St Peter’s students, parents and colleagues as inspirational, kind, a motivator who gives his best and so receives the best from the children, a role model, committed, ingenious and always going above and beyond. He invests in each child and they repay that with an exemplary commitment to their work.
Nino Trentinella, Head of the Art & Photography Department at Sutton Grammar School The Award for Digital Innovator of the Year, supported by Nord Anglia EducationAs a recognised specialist in blended learning and Artificial Intelligence Art, Nino has been able to change students’ and parents’ mindsets about the value of the arts and the potential for future careers. She has been recognised for her impact on the community and has been invited as a  guest speaker at the NYSA (The New York Stereoscopic Association).
Rachel Bown, SEND PE practitioner at Fairfield Farm College The for FE Lecturer of the Year, supported by Department for EducationJudges picked up on Rachel’s radiant energy which they shares was evident why Fairfield Farm College students like and want to be around her.  In her personal life, she was diagnosed in 2017 with a brain tumour whilst teaching, and she not only overcame the medical hardship of this but now proudly races for Team GB in Triathlon.
Sharples School The Award for Making a Difference – Secondary School of the Year, supported by PixlThe school motto is the bedrock of all their work –“Learn, Dream, Achieve”. With this, they are focused on particularly raising the aspirations of their 1,200 students and their families. They have taken students abroad for free, some of which had never travelled and for the first time last year, students from Sharples gained places at Red Brick Universities such as Durham.  The school now has students applying to Oxford and Cambridge which has never happened before.
Sheelagh Rusby,  Quality Improvement Officer at Dumfries and Galloway Council The Award for Lifetime Achievement supported by the Department for EducationThis year Sheelagh retires after 40 years in education. She has championed community schools, enterprising schools, rural skills, and developing the young workforce before these terms became part of the more recent educational ‘lingo’. She created the “Savour the Flavour” programme which brought chefs into school to deliver master classes. Within a year, 6 chefs were teaching practical cookery and hospitality skills to young people across the whole of Dumfries and Galloway council.
St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School The Award for Making a Difference – Primary School of the Year, supported by Pixl,St Oliver Plunkett has the highest aspirations for its students and looks to hard-wire the belief that they can achieve the highest levels. Whilst situated in a community with significant challenges, the school is a stark contrast to its surroundings with its calm, orderly and nurturing atmosphere. Judges applauded the Principal, Paddy McCabe who is the driving force behind the school’s holistic approach to ensure children are developed across traditional subjects as well as sports, art and music.
The Woodland Nursery The Award for Early Years Team of the Year, supported by the Department for EducationThe Woodland Nursery has shown great commitment to ensuring their studies are present and learning. During the pandemic teachers would personally pick up from and drop off some of their more vulnerable children from their homes. They have continued to do so up till now so children can immerse themselves into The Forest School approach which has a large focus on outdoor learning.
Zac Moxon, Head of Music at Chiswick School The Award for Outstanding New Teacher of the Year, supported by the Department for EducationAlthough starting out as a trainee maths teacher, Zac has thrived as the ahead of Music at Chiswick School and the impact has been truly remarkable. He has led school choirs to performing at multiple venues and he also hired and trained his four year 12 students to record a school album which he helped them to mix, edit and produce.

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