Selected from thousands of nominations from schools and colleges across the country, the Hospitality and Catering Team at Eastleigh College has been honoured as one of 102 Pearson National Teaching Silver Award winners.

The team was honoured with a Silver Award in The Award for FE Team of the Year for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the young people they work with every day.

Paul Cox, Chief Executive and Principal at Eastleigh College, said:
“We’re delighted that our Hospitality and Catering Team has picked up a silver award, which they wholeheartedly deserve. The drive for year-on-year improvement and development has seen them build and develop excellence as they innovative and extend the experience provided to learners. Thank a Teacher Day has been the ideal opportunity to say a huge thank you, not only to the Hospitality and Catering Team, but to all of our fantastic teachers who have worked tirelessly during such an unprecedented time”.

During lockdown the team ensured no learner was disadvantaged by organising food deliveries to every learner’s house with the ingredients required for that day’s online lessons, while tutors delivered live cooking masterclasses from their own homes. Outcomes are consistently excellent with 100% of students achieving their targets. Team members are: Sue Lyons, Greg Cheeseman, Richard Carter, Lisa Hatherell and Shelagh Bunn.

Rachel Wyatt, Curriculum Development Manager, Pearson UK said:
“Pearson support the Teaching Awards because we want to recognise and celebrate the wonderful work that you do. Today the Eastleigh College Hospitality and Catering Team is one of 102 Silver winners, across 15 categories, being celebrated across the country, so it truly is an honour and an accolade to win this award today.”

The Silver Awards are part of wider celebrations for ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, a national campaign to honour and recognise the exceptional school and college staff who have worked wonders during an incredibly challenging time for educators across the country. The team is now in the running to win one of the 15 UK Gold awards to be announced later this year in a programme which will be broadcast by the BBC.

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 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 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, chief executives 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.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“The hard work and dedication of teachers in schools, colleges and across the education sector during the pandemic has been inspiring, and while our teachers deserve the country’s recognition every year, this year’s Thank A Teacher Day is even more significant. The support they have provided children, young people and adults has been remarkable, and each and every one of us should be grateful for the part they have played over the past 18 months.

“Congratulations to all the Silver Award winning educators, and every teacher who has gone above and beyond, inspiring and shaping our future generations to be the best they can be.”