29th Jun, 2022

Inspirational Coventry food technology teacher wins top UK teaching award

Catherine Vonledebur 17th Sep, 2020 Updated: 17th Sep, 2020

A COVENTRY food technology teacher has won a Silver Award in the national Teacher of the Year secondary school awards.

Andrew Hartshorn, who was nominated by colleagues at Finham Park 2, is one of just 76 national silver award-winners in the UK – and is now in the running for one of 14 Gold Awards later this year, in a TV programme which will be broadcast on the BBC.

Andrew said: “I am bewildered by winning this award, I am so taken aback. This is all down to the support I get from my colleagues and my students. Thank you so much to everyone for believing in me.”

Not only is his classroom as close to a professional kitchen as is possible for a school, but outside term time Andrew works for free in local restaurant kitchens to keep up-to-date with the latest culinary techniques.

He has also launched ‘Grub Club’, an after school club for Pupil Premium and vulnerable students where they are taught to cook a cheap, healthy meal. During preparation the school band plays for the students, and after cooking they sit down to eat together, and even serve each other.

Teachers are chosen for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of children and young people they work with every day.

Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said:  “Over the past year, we have, all of us, come to appreciate and respect the value of teachers. They have so often been taken for granted. Not any more. Parents know now what it takes to teach, and teach well, and how much commitment, dedication and enthusiasm and knowledge and understanding, yes – and patience.

“Children know it too, if they didn’t before. So many missed their teachers as well as their friends. We all honour them today. Let’s now praise them, wish them well and above all, thank them.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “My warmest congratulations go to all this year’s silver award winners. They should be proud to receive this recognition of their commitment to the profession, and the outstanding education and guidance they provide for their students.

“Teachers and school staff up and down the country consistently go above and beyond for their students, and this is especially true over the past few months. It is down to their hard work that schools have been able to open their gates to all pupils again for the start of the new term, and I cannot say thank you enough for everything they have done.”

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, founded in 1998. This year marks its 22nd year of celebrating, award-winning teachers, teaching assistants, headteachers and lecturers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

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