Pearson Teaching Awards reveal who has come top of the class in 2016

Ten of the country’s most outstanding teachers have been rewarded for their contributions to education by winning gold at this year’s Pearson Teaching Awards.

The annual event, known as the ‘Oscars of the teaching world’, was hosted today by comedian and actor Hugh Dennis at the Guildhall in London.

Outstanding teachers were put forward for the accolade by pupils, parents and colleagues, with ten winners selected by an expert panel to receive a gold Plato Award for excellence in teaching.

Commenting on his experience of the awards, Dennis said that he was “genuinely proud and honoured” to host the ceremony this year, adding: “The inspiration and support of my fantastic teachers got me to where I am today.”

Amongst the 2016 winners are inspirational stories such as the work of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths team from Sandringham School in Hertfordshire, who made live contact with astronaut Tim Peake on the International Space Station via radio.

The event that was seen by around 18m people on various news stations in the UK and led to the St Albans-based group winning the Award for Outstanding School Team of the Year.

Jashu Vekaria of Uxendon Manor Primary School in Kenton, Greater London, was nominated for the Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School in thanks for her commitment to her students.

Just one example of her dedication included giving up her room in the staff sleeping quarters on a school trip to ensure that a student with Down’s syndrome was able to attend – she spent the night in a shed with no electricity, heating or lighting to allow the child’s parents to stay with them.

Hardial Hayer, winner of the Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School, has led The Radclyffe School in Oldham, Lancashire for 20 years.

His achievements in the role include introducing an ‘Experience Day’ for every student to take part in, when each year group visits a venue that, for many, would be inaccessible without the school’s help.

The awards ceremony will be broadcast on BBC2 on October 30 at 6pm, in the show “Britain’s Classroom Heroes”.

It will also include appearance from celebrities such as Strictly Come Dancing Star, Brendan Cole.

Rod Bristow, president of Pearson UK, said: “A huge congratulations to the 2016 Teaching Award winners.

“Pearson is so proud to sponsor this celebration – Great teaching makes the biggest difference to a child’s education and it’s incredibly important that we take this moment each year to recognise that.”

The Pearson Teaching Awards are open to every school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Established by Lord Puttnam CBE in 1998, they are managed by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity.

Remind yourself of those who swept to success at the event last year here.

The Teaching Award winners 2016

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(Tap photo for caption)

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