Selected from thousands of nominations, Derwen College teacher Steve Evans has been honoured as one of 102 Pearson National Teaching Silver Award winners across the country. Steve Evans was honoured with a Silver Award in The Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education for his outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the young people he works with every day.
Derwen College Performing Art and Work Skills lead Jessie Vaughan has been recognised with a Bronze Award in the Digital Innovator of the Year category.
Steve, who works at specialist further education college Derwen College, in Shropshire, has a determination to bring out the best in every student. His students have a wide variety of complex special educational needs and disabilities, and some of them arrive at College believing that sport just isn’t for them. As Sports & Leisure co-ordinator, he recognises the physical and mental benefits of exercise, encouraging teamwork, social skills and fun.
By partnering with community and national sports organisations, Steve has enabled a wide and inclusive range of opportunities for the college’s residential and day students. His passion and drive has been instrumental in bringing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards to Derwen College, giving students the opportunity, motivation and self-belief to get involved with these challenging awards, encouraging them to strive and attain goals beyond their expectations.
Steve Evans has now been shortlisted to win one of just 15 Gold Awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC.
Jessie was honoured in the Digital Innovator of the Year category for her commitment to embracing technology to engage with students at home and at college.
Jessie used online meetings, social media and videos during lockdown, thinking creatively to make sure each and every student felt a part of college even if they were based miles away.
Jessie and Steve are being honoured as part of the wider celebrations for ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, a national campaign to honour and recognise school staff for their incredible work. Derwen College held a virtual awards event to reveal the exciting news that they had a Bronze and Silver winner on their staff.
Derwen College Principal & CEO Meryl Green said:
“We are proud and delighted that Steve and Jessie’s amazing work has been recognised in this way. Despite the incredible outcomes that their students achieve they remain modest and firmly grounded. For both, students are always centre stage, and going ‘over and above’ is just the norm. At Derwen College, we believe that young people with SEND deserve the best possible life chances and are proud to have staff who do everything in their power to achieve this. Both Jessie and Steve really are an inspiration to students and the colleagues working alongside them.”
The celebrations follow new data which shows how the previous year’s lockdowns have significantly changed how families across the country view the role of teachers.
New research from Parentkind and The Teaching Awards Trust highlights that three in four parents and carers have a newfound respect hold for the teaching profession following their experiences of remote learning during lockdown. 74.9% of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they had more respect for the work that teachers do following their family’s experiences of remote learning.
The last year has seen a wealth of stories of teachers making care visits to vulnerable families, coming up with innovative ways of remote teaching, keeping their pupils settled by regularly checking in and even using their school sites for Covid-19 testing when classes did return to school. There has never been a better time to appreciate them and the vital work they do.
The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with. This year marks its 22nd year of celebrating, award-winning teachers, teaching assistants, headteachers and lecturers across the UK
Sir Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said:
“Thank a Teacher Day gives us all a chance – children, families, all of us – to pay tribute to those wonderful educators who change more lives than they will ever know. Today we say thank you to the teachers who have helped our young people navigate these most difficult of times, and who will continue to inspire countless young minds over the coming years.”
Sharon Hague, Senior Vice President of Schools at Pearson UK, said:
“After a year like no other we want to take today to say thank you to all the incredible school staff who have kept children and young people learning despite unprecedented challenges. We hope the celebrations today show how much you are appreciated, and that your hard work has not gone unnoticed nor unrecognised.”