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Transformational impact sees Ravens Academy’s Karen Hammond win national Silver Teaching Award

Selected from thousands of nominations, Karen is one of just 56 outstanding local heroes of education who has been presented with their prestigious Silver Pearson Teaching Awards in schools and colleges across England, Ireland and Wales on Thank a Teacher Day (16 June 2017).

Nominated jointly by the academy’s sponsor Academy Transformation Trust and the academy’s Vice Principal Andy Bear, Karen was put forward in recognition of her transformational impact on Ravens Academy and the local community since she joined in September 2013. The award category celebrates head teachers who provide outstanding leadership with a clear vision for success.

Under Karen’s leadership, the academy’s Ofsted judgement has moved from special measures to Good with Outstanding leadership; received the SSAT Educational Outcomes Award for a performance which put the academy amongst the top 20% of schools nationally; and undergone a building expansion which will triple pupil numbers. The achievements highlighted in Karen’s nomination include her focus on securing the best possible resources for teaching and learning, her clear vision that every child can achieve and that every problem can be overcome, and her efforts to share expertise with her staff, and other leaders and teachers across The Trust. It also recognised Karen’s affection for the children in her care, her total commitment to their future and her determination that every child will reach their full potential which is changing the life of every pupil.

The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, created to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they teach. Karen discovered her success at a special event held at Ravens Academy, Nayland Drive, Clacton-on-Sea, attended by pupils, staff, parents and carers, and Karen’s family. They were joined by Tim Coulson, Regional schools commissioner for the East of England and north-east London; Councillor John Aldridge, Chairman of the Council, Essex County Council; Ian Cleland, CEO of Academy Transformation Trust; and Andrew Lawrence of Essex County Council.

Karen will now join fellow Silver Award winners at the UK final of the Pearson Teaching Awards, a glittering ceremony held in central London on 22nd October.  There, they will find out which of them has won one of just 11 Gold Plato Awards, the UK’s “Oscars for Teachers”. This ceremony, titled “Britain’s Classroom Heroes”, will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC as a showcase of excellence in education.  Previous award presenters have included former prime ministers David Cameron & Tony Blair, acting legends Alison Steadman, Sheila Hancock and Timothy West and sports and TV personalities including Helen Glover, Brendan Cole and Nadiya Hussain. 

Newly appointed President of the Pearson Teaching Awards, the award winning children’s novelist, Michael Morpurgo says “Becoming an inspirational teacher is a serious, admirable commitment.  And memorable, outstanding teaching should be celebrated by educators, pupils, parents and throughout society.  With these awards we’re taking the time to recognise the remarkable, often unappreciated efforts of fantastic teachers up and down the country.”

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK said: ‘It’s an honour for us to support the Teaching Awards each year. Great teaching can have a huge impact on a child’s education so it’s vital for us to recognise and celebrate inspirational teachers, for their commitment to teaching and learning and for improving the life chances of the next generation.  All those receiving a silver trophy today should feel extremely proud of their achievement and I Iook forward to meeting them at the final ceremony later this year.”

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