The UK’s teaching elite have been honoured for their inspirational work within the classroom. Eleven outstanding individuals received the highest accolade of the teaching profession at the Pearson Teaching Awards, which celebrates excellence and commitment to the profession.

BBC presenter, Naga Munchetty hosted hosting the annual event alongside broadcaster, Sean Fletcher. A host of celebrity presenters from two-time Olympic Rower, Heather Stanning, to Strictly Come Dancing Judge, Shirley Ballas also attended the glittering ceremony to help present the awards.

The ceremony will be broadcast as “Britain’s Classroom Heroes” on BBC2 on 29th October at 6pm.

Gold winners were nominated for the award by pupils, parents and colleagues. Inspirational stories from the night include (full list of winners in Notes):

  • Luisa Martin Thomas of Tonypandy Community College, who is passionate about supporting the wellbeing of staff and students and has been the driving force behind developing the school into a ‘mindfulness hub’, ensuring that resources were being put towards helping provide students and staff with techniques and coping methods for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. It has been a resounding success, and won acclaim from the Welsh Government and has supported numerous students through very difficult periods.


  • Sharon Downes of Puddletown First School who supports the learning and emotional wellbeing of her children in the most, outstanding, imaginative and inspirational ways, whether this is through producing high quality displays around the classroom, undertaking the responsibility for First Aid, driving the school minibus, running a book club at break times, and keeping photographic records of the children’s learning experiences. She also provides a cooked lunch for all the staff (off her own back) every Wednesday in addition to making delicious cakes and treats when she feels the staff need them.


  • Rohit Naik of Hope School, a school for boys with social, emotional and mental health difficulties (aged 5-13). Rohit has moved away from traditional SEMH (social, emotional and mental health) strategies to investing in ways for staff to truly understand the function of behaviours – such as speech and language counselling and CPD courses (Continuing Professional Development) – to make differences that will improve outcomes for children as they move into adulthood.

The Pearson Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching. Founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam, they recognise the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach.

Michael Morpurgo, Children’s Author and new President of the Pearson’s Teaching Awards said: “I am honoured to be the new President of the Pearson Teaching Awards.  Teachers are the quiet heroes. By telling their stories, by highlighting their skill and dedication, we can do some justice to them and to the whole profession. Through the Teaching Awards, we hope to enhance the reputation and value of the teachers in our lives, their importance in our society, and thus help to encourage the most talented and committed young people to become teachers.”

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK, said: “Great teaching improves the life chances of our children. It’s an incredibly tough, pressured and wearing job. Teachers deserve all the support we can give them, now more than ever. That’s why these Pearson Teaching Awards are important, and that’s why I’m delighted once again to lend our support to giving teaching the recognition it deserves.”

Parents and students alike can recognise and thank the teachers who are making a difference by visiting to thank a teacher. Doing so means they will be in with a chance of winning at next year’s ceremony.

Download the full press release and read all about our winners here

See our winners gallery and read more about them here

View the ceremony gallery of images page here

For more information please contact:

David Parke at Weber Shandwick


T 020 7067 0351, M 07999701524

Mary Palmer at the Pearson Teaching Awards

M 07976 124 929



The Pearson Teaching Awards are open to every school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  The awards were established by Lord Puttnam CBE in 1998 and are managed by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity. The Trust’s mission is to celebrate excellence in education.


About Pearson

Pearson, the sponsor of the Pearson Teaching Awards, is the world’s learning company, working in countries across the globe to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning.

Pearson has expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and offers a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology.  Its mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning.  It believes that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit