Esta Bernardini, who works at Carlton Keighley, has won a prestigious Gold Award.

She took the Teaching Assistant of the Year accolade in the Pearson National Teaching Awards.

The honour is in recognition of Esta’s work to help visually impaired students access mainstream education and be an integral part of the school community.

To help provide the support, Esta learned braille from scratch and had to master the whole curriculum so that she could translate high-level academic resources into accessible documents for use by blind pupils.

Students she worked with included Ahmed Hassan, who ­– after five years of support – achieved six Grade 9s and three Grade 8s at GCSE. And visually impaired pupils have continued to achieve high rates of exam success.

Esta says: “I have had the honour of working with incredible students over the years and it is such a privilege to see all their hard work come to fruition and be a part of their journey.

“Being nominated in the Pearson National Teaching Awards was a huge, unexpected shock – but such a lovely surprise!”

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