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‘Truly inspirational’ teacher named best in UK after scooping award

PUBLISHED: 17:30 05 October 2020

Helen Pearce, a teacher at White Hall Academy in Clacton, has been chosen as the UK's best teacher in a competition to mark World Teacher Day Picture: HELEN PEARCE

Helen Pearce, a teacher at White Hall Academy in Clacton, has been chosen as the UK's best teacher in a competition to mark World Teacher Day Picture: HELEN PEARCE

HELEN PEARCE

On World Teacher Day, a staff member at an Essex school has been named the “best teacher in the UK”.

“Truly inspirational” teacher Helen Pearce, a special needs educational co-ordinator (SENCO) at White Hall Academy in Clacton, was nominated by a parent for her tireless work, including her help to students at the primary school during lockdown.

Mrs Pearce said: “I am truly amazed. It is very exciting to hear that not only did a parent nominate me, but to have won as well. I have only been doing my job, a job that I love, and I am a small part of a big team of people who all care about our school family.”

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The parent said Mrs Pearce “makes it so my child is inclusive not excluded for his disability. She doesn’t just stick to work hours and I can email her any time of the day..

“She is always on hand to make sure his stress levels are low at school to help him, she goes out of her way to do observations on him just to help get him extra support, she will wait for him outside the school grounds if she knows he is having a hard time or overwhelmed walking into school, she fights for him, she is his school voice.

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“Without her, my son wouldn’t be able to be at school and have an education, a truly inspirational teacher.”

People were asked to name their favourite teacher for the competition, organised by online greeting cards firm thortful, which specialises in cards for teachers, and more than 180 entries were received.

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Headteacher Gavin Bradley said: “We are extremely proud that Mrs Pearce’s hard work during the pandemic, and the work of our SENCO team, has been recognised.”

He said the pandemic had been traumatic for children with additional needs, but staff had worked hard to reassure them and make sure they could access their education.

“All of our staff have worked incredibly hard, and we think of it as a team award. It’s a nice accolade for the school.”

Mrs Pearce has won a £150 spa voucher to give her a well-deserved treat.

The competition aimed to recognise teachers who have gone above and beyond to adapt to circumstances during 2020, keeping their students motivated and engaged


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