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Award-winning teachers from across the country have called on schools to enter their most inspirational colleagues for the Pearson National Teaching Awards. The Awards, the ‘Oscars for Teachers’, recognise and celebrate excellence in education on a UK-wide basis.

The call from teachers previously recognised at the Awards, televised by the BBC as ‘Britain’s Classroom Heroes’, comes as the deadline for the awards is only a few weeks away. Entry is free, and the awards are open to all state and independent schools and FE colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Entries close at midnight on Friday 28th February 2020.

This is a great opportunity for schools to celebrate excellence, and to recognise those colleagues who regularly go above and beyond their role to ensure their pupils get the best possible start in life. 

The Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they teacher. Winning an award is a triumph not just for the individual winner, but for their colleagues, their pupils, and their wider community. 

Keith Berry, Gold Award winner for Lifetime Achievement, headteacher at Park Community Academy said:

“I have never sought or needed recognition from the many pupils and families I have worked with over the years - I genuinely felt that the privilege was always mine. It was only after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award that I realised just how proud the children were that one of their teachers from their school had received a national award.

“The children lived every moment as they watched the BBC TV highlights in our assembly, clapping and cheering along as though they were present at the ceremony themselves. It was a truly magical moment to gain their unreserved and unprompted recognition. It was an especially proud moment for me personally. 

“I am sure many of the children who attend the 2019 Silver and Gold Award winning schools, will remember and look back with pride themselves in their post school years. While teaching will always throw up many challenges on a day to day basis, and we have to be prepared to make sacrifices, the rewards far, far outweigh the sacrifices.”

Sheldon Logue, Silver Award winner for Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School, St. Damian's RC Science College, said:

“Teaching is the best job in the world. I love it. It’s not an easy job but it is a privilege to have the opportunity to change young pupils lives for the better!  

“In fairness, teachers don’t get praised enough for the sterling work they do so getting a thank you from a pupil, even more so when it’s unexpected, really makes it all worthwhile. As a leader in teaching I try and inspire pupils to become teachers in their future careers as there is no more rewarding job”   

Liz Ormerod, Headteacher at Delph Side Primary School, Gold Award winners for Primary School of the Year said:

“I know how much my own teachers inspired me and it’s an incredible feeling that I might have had that same influence on my pupils. We don’t do this job for the recognition but even so, it’s lovely to receive it. Teaching is a whole school effort, and so you’re not just thanking one person, you’re giving a whole team the chance to celebrate each other’s success.”

Brian Banks, Gold Award winner for FE Lecturer of the Year, City College Plymouth, said:

“I’m an Access to Higher Education lecturer, and I’m part of a team of inspirational teachers who have one of the most rewarding jobs in education. Watching adult learners achieve success beyond their wildest expectations is a thrill which never gets old, and to see this untapped potential go back into society is a joy. 

“To have this work recognised was a massive boost to myself and my team, but often it’s the simplest thank you from a grateful learner which really hits home. The Thank a Teacher programme is such a simple way for learners to reach out to their teacher, and really lift the day of the people who give so much to them in return.” 

Schools that want to enter a colleague for the Awards can do so here.

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