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Local Headteacher honoured in national awards

A Bradford headteacher has been honoured in a national celebration of exceptional teaching.

Gillian Edge of Killinghall Primary School was awarded a Silver Teaching Award in the Lifetime Achievement category of the prestigious Pearson Teaching Awards.

Selected from thousands of nominations, Gillian is one of just 65 winners who were celebrated on the special ‘Thank a Teacher Day’ in schools and colleges across England, Wales and Northern Ireland as the trophies were presented to outstanding teachers, teaching assistants, headteachers and lecturers.

Gillian will join fellow winners at the 20th UK Ceremony of the Pearson Teaching Awards, a glittering event held in central London on 21st October.  There they will find out which of them has won one of just 12 Gold Plato Awards, the UK’s “Oscars for Teachers”.  The ceremony, “Britain’s Classroom Heroes”, will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC as a showcase of excellence in education.

The awards also encourages members of the public to say “thank you” to a teacher who has made a difference in their lives by filling in an online form with a personal message and the teacher will receive a thank you card in the post for free.  You can still go to www.teachingawards.com/card to send yours.

Marking its 20th year of celebrating excellence in education, The Pearson Teaching 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 young people they teach.

Gillian, an ex-Head Girl of Heckmondwike Grammar School, said “I was extremely honoured and surprised to receive the Telegraph & Argus Leadership Award in March 2018 and even more surprised to find that I had been nominated for the Pearson Teaching Award.

“Killinghall Primary School was visited on 22nd May by Sir Alan Steer.  He spoke to lots of children, staff and parents on behalf of Pearson.  I was honoured to receive the award which was presented to me by our Chair of Governors in front of the children at a surprise assembly.

“I have worked in Bradford the whole of my career as an NQT at Swain House, moving to Carrwood, St John’s, and Greengates Primary Schools.  I then spent 12 years as headteacher at St Paul’s Primary and have served my final 14 years as headteacher at Killinghall.  It has been a very interesting journey, full of challenges, but more so filled with laughter and lifelong learning.

“I am passionate about the children in Bradford and all the wonderful committed staff we have that work tirelessly to ensure they get the very best education possible.

“It was a great experience to join other winners for a celebratory afternoon tea at the House of Commons and I’m really looking forward to the Gold Award Ceremony in October. It would be wonderful to bring home yet another trophy for Bradford.

“This certainly would mark the end of a wonderful career as I embark on the next phase of my life.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills, said, “I’m delighted for Gillian who very much deserves the silver award for her years of dedication to the children of Bradford.  She is a credit to her profession, a true hero in our schools and I sincerely hope she wins an ‘Oscar’ on 21st October”.

Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said “The best we can do is to pass on to children all that we know and love and mean every word.  I think above all else, a teacher should be a friend, and that’s not an easy thing to do when there are 35 children out there. With these awards we are shining a light on these inspirational individuals whose efforts and commitment so often go uncelebrated.”

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK, said “A huge congratulations to all those receiving a silver trophy today.  They should feel extremely proud of their achievements and join an inspirational group of Teaching Award winners from the past two decades.  It’s an honour for Pearson to support these Awards each year – it’s so vital to recognise and celebrate those in the teaching profession, for their commitment to education and for the impact they have on young people’s lives.“

The list of winners can be found at http://teachingawards.com/awards/2018silver/.

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