Teaching Awards 2011
31 Oct 2011
Another hugely enjoyable, and uplifting, Teaching Awards ceremony ably and enthusiastically hosted again by Lenny Henry.
Despite difficulties with the loss of government financial support, the teaching 'Oscars' continue to do a great job by putting outstanding classroom teachers in the much-deserved spotlight. It was very noticeable that the Department for Education was not well represented at the ceremony, with not a single minister turning up. Despite the official snub, the support of Pearson and other sponsors - and an impressive cast of celebrity supporters - means the show goes on.
While some still mutter about awards being inappropriate for something so collegiate as teaching, I feel strongly that the glory for the winners does reflect well on the profession as a whole. And while some also argue that there's an element of chance about picking a few winners from 500,000 teachers, I think that too misses the point. We celebrate 'celebrity' far too much, so it's quite right to celebrate, with a bit of razzmatazz, something so important as teaching.
All the winners were impressive but I would like to pick out the Lifetime Award winner, Jeff Stratton, from Lipsom Community College in Plymouth.
He is still active in the classroom at the age of 71, having spent 16 years at the college. before returning to the classroom he was a head teacher and an local authority adviser. He gave a brilliant and optimistic speech at the awards ceremony.
More about Jeff Stratton and the other award winners here: www.teachingawards.com/winners/2011/UK_Panel/54374