Inspirational teachers make the grade to become awards finalists

EXCEPTIONAL teachers from Suffolk and Essex have been named as finalists in this year’s prestigious Teaching Awards.

They will be among a host of education stars from across the country who will be competing at a ceremony next month.

Cathryn Benefer, from Bramfield Primary School in Halesworth, Suffolk, has been nominated for Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School.

Julie Ball, who works at the Clacton Coastal Academy, and Becky Newman, from the Tendring Technology College in Frinton-on-Sea, go head-to-head in the Teaching Assistant of the Year category.

Meanwhile, four nominees from Essex will compete for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School - Daniel Browning, from the Tendring Technology College, Nick Farn, from The Sandon School in Chelmsford, Dr Paul Thomas, who works at Chelmsford’s New Hall School, and Kara Wren, of Maltings Academy in Witham.

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David Bebb will represent Chelmsford County High School in the Governor of the Year award.

While Outstanding School Team of the Year could be won by Tendring Technology College after they made the grade.

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Caroline Evans, chief executive of the Teaching Awards congratulated the finalists, but said each of the 9,200 nominations had made a difference to the lives of children.

She added: “Our summer ceremonies are a terrific celebration of all that is good in education. Good luck to everyone and well done for coming this far.”

Each of the winners in the 11 categories will receive a Plato - the Teaching Awards symbol of excellence. Distinctions and commendations will also be presented.

The ceremony will take place at the Rhodes Arts Complex in Hertfordshire on Thursday, June 24.

Baroness Shirley Williams, chairman of the UK judging panel, will lead a workshop for all finalists before the event, while pianist Fiona Hill, from Plume School in Maldon, will provide musical entertainment during the reception.

The Teaching Awards were founded by Lord Puttnam CBE in 1998 to focus on inspired professionals who make the positive achievements of pupils possible.

Following the tenth anniversary celebrations in 2008, Will Wyatt CBE, former deputy director-general of the BBC, became the new chairman of the Teaching Awards Trust, while Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson became president.

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