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A teaching assistant at the College has beaten thousands of other nominees to win a prestigious Pearson Teaching Award.

Mr Tills won his silver award in the Teaching Assistant of the Year category and will now join fellow winners at the UK final of the Teaching Awards to be held at a glittering celebration at London’s Guildhall on 23 October 2016.

 He is now in with a chance of winning a Gold Plato Award at the October ceremony - which is entitled Britain’s Classroom Heroes - which will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC as a showcase of excellence in education.

Selected from thousands of nominations received by the Pearson Teaching Awards in 2016, Mr Tills was surprised with his award at a special assembly at the College on 17 June 2016 - Thank A Teacher Day 2016.

The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching, founded in 1999 by Lord Puttnam, they recognise the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach.

Mr Tills, who is a teaching assistant in the College’s specialist provision, said he felt “completely overwhelmed” to have won.

“I feel so honoured to have been recognised for doing something which I love so much," said Mr Tills,  who has worked at the College since 2011.

A film of students he supports was shown during the special assembly and Mr Tills said it was “humbling” to see them describe the impact he has had on their lives.

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“I’m so amazed to have won – and I know I have made my family proud too, my dad cried when I told him, I don’t think I’ve ever known him cry before!”

College principal, Mrs Hannaford, said:  ”I am absolutely delighted that Nathan’s dedication to his role and his skills have been recognised with this award.

“He is an amazingly talented and committed professional who has rightly been commended for his unstinting support for our most vulnerable students.

“This recognition comes not just from his colleagues but also parents and, most importantly, from the students themselves.

“We are all thrilled for him and have our fingers crossed for him for the award ceremony in London in October.”

The special assembly was attended by Oliver Colvile MP and Councillor Terri Beer, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, who said it was “an absolute privilege” to be invited to present Mr Tills with his award.

“It’s so easy to overlook the fantastic job that our teaching assistants do and awards like these remind us all to take a moment to stop and thank them for the work they do for our children and young people,” said Cllr Beer.

“I wish Mr Tills all the best for national finals.”

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK said: ‘It’s an honour for us to support the Teaching Awards each year. Research shows that great teaching has the biggest 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 improving the life chances of the next generation. All those receiving a silver trophy should feel extremely proud of their achievement.”

Stoke Damerel News Archive: Academic Year 2015/16

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