A specialist college PE teacher of 30 years has been named FE lecturer of the year in the 2023 Pearson Teaching Awards.
Sixteen winners from across the UK’s schools and colleges have been honoured for their dedicated work in education.
Nine winners were presented their gold awards at a glitzy ceremony in London on Saturday, with another seven revealed during the week on the BBC’s The One Show.
Awards were presented last night by TV presenter Gaby Roslin, who also presented the first awards in 1999.
Now in their 25th year, the awards celebrate the best teaching across the UK and thousands of nominations were received for the gold award winners.
Education secretary 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.
“Teachers change lives and we should all feel a sense of gratitude to those we are celebrating today. Thank you again and congratulations.”
Sharon Hague, Pearson UK’s managing director of schools, added: “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.”
Here are this year’s winners.
Entries have also opened for next year’s awards, you can submit an entry here.
FE lecturer of the year
Rachel Bown, SEND PE practitioner at Fairfield Farm College
Bown is “not only a Special Educational Needs teacher, with over 30 years experience, she is also a representative for Team GB in the Triathlon, a survivor of a brain tumour, a funeral celebrant, and a published author.”
She is an “outstanding teacher” who always “leads by example” and encourages her students to “reach above and beyond what they thought they could ever achieve.”
FE team of the year
HRUC Uxbridge College, Performing Arts Department
The performing arts team at HRUC Uxbridge College is known as the “heart of the college” due to their “vibrant performances and family-like bond” which is admired across the school.
With many of the team still performing professionally, they have been recognised as “truly credible role models and inspirations to students.”
Excellence in special needs education
David Jones, additional learning needs transition co-ordinator at Pembrokeshire College
Jones is described as “a very special guy” who supports young adults with additional learning needs and disabilities and other vulnerable groups of learners.
According to his colleagues, he “doesn’t stop supporting the young people in his care at the end of the working day; he will continue working in his own time, covering roles that aren’t on his job description, to make sure he helps the learners he supports.”
Teacher of the year in a secondary school
Dr Jo Turner, early careers teacher lead at Callington Community College
Turner’s science students say her classes “make you feel indestructible.”
She is known to parents as being “a role model as a woman in science with a PhD, a dairy farmer, a fudge maker, and an inspiration for their children.”
Headteacher of the year in a secondary school
Farhan Adam, Headteacher at Crown Hills Community College
Farhan is a headteacher in Leicester who has made it his mission to “change the lives and extend opportunities for everyone in the school community.”
He is described as “a truly inspirational, humble and caring headteacher who leads by example, relentlessly driving his initiatives for the enormous benefit of his students and staff.”
Impact through partnership
Hope School is a special school which “raises awareness of attachment theory and the psychological impact of trauma.”
Through its HEARTs project, and 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.”
Teaching assistant of the year
Lorna Cannon, teaching assistant at Margaretting at Church of England Primary School
In her 20 years of working at Margaretting Church of England Primary School, Cannon has “transformed the school with her creative flair,” making “hundreds of bright displays that proudly show off the children’s work.”
Some of her resources “have been so successful, they are now being used across the school trust.”
Unsung hero of the Year
Manjit Nahal, lead lunchtime supervisor at Bridgetown School
Nahal is “the beating heart of Bridgetown School where the children thrive due to her attentiveness and support.”
Her “Top Table award scheme at which pupils are selected to eat lunch with the Head Teacher on a table laid with linens, flowers and place cards” is a huge motivator for children.
Headteacher of the year in a primary school
Maria Carlton, executive headteacher at Bewley and Kirklevington Primary School
Carlton has “a magical, warm and welcoming approach combined with a firm moral purpose and a simple determination to provide the very best for her community.”
She has “created an environment, supportive of individuality and difference, where pupils, staff and the community are able to thrive.”
Teacher of the year in a primary school
Matthew King, deputy head of science at Trinity St Peter’s
King is known as a “joker” and “role model” who cares “deeply for the children in his care and the whole school community.”
He “sees things in the children that they don’t always see in themselves” and uses his “enthusiasm and energy to motivate the rest of the team as well as the children.”
Digital innovator of the year
Nino Trentinella, head of the art & photography department at Sutton Grammar School
Trentinella is a “USA Presidential Award-winning teacher and a recognised specialist in Blended Learning and Artificial Intelligence Art.”
She has “created an innovative curriculum and is the first teacher to embed cutting-edge technologies (Stereoscopy, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics) into the entire art and photo curriculum from Year 7 through Year 13.”
Making a difference – secondary school
Sharples School’s motto, “learn, dream, achieve”, is the “bedrock of all their work.”
In their community, Sharples is known for being so much “more than a school”. Each teacher goes “over and above to support the students” and to “open their eyes beyond Bolton” to see how they can contribute to the wider community.
Sheelagh Rusby, quality improvement officer at Dumfries and Galloway Council
Rusby has been in education for 40 years and has been described as “the kind of person you would want in your corner through thick and thin.”
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.’”
Making a difference – primary school
St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School
St Oliver Plunkett has the “highest aspirations for its students and looks to hard-wire the belief that they can achieve to the highest levels.”
The school “operates in stark contrast to the challenges the broader community faces, with a calm, orderly and nurturing atmosphere.”
Outstanding new teacher of the year
Zac Moxon, head of music at Chiswick School
Although starting out as a trainee maths teacher, “Zac was asked to take on the role of Head of Music at
Chiswick School and the impact has been truly remarkable.”
His lessons are “creative with endless elements of performance across all ages and abilities as well as being filled with academic rigour.”
Early years team of the year
The Woodland Nursery
Woodland Nursery is “embedded into the heart of the community” and has created a “unique environment that truly inspires children to learn and explore.”
It is here that “families, staff, and nature work in harmony to provide an enabling and emotionally safe environment.”
You can also read about the silver award winners here.