A Wigan teacher has been named as one of the nation’s most inspirational educators on The One Show on BBC One.

Selected from thousands of nominations, Jackie Birch has won a Gold Award in the Pearson National Teaching Awards for The Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School.

The award came as part of a week-long celebration of teaching which will end this Sunday at a prestigious ceremony celebrating all 102 Silver Winners of the Pearson National Teaching Awards. At the ceremony, Jackie Birch was honoured alongside their fellow Gold Winners across 15 categories as the best of the UK’s educators.

Jackie is an inspirational educator who is a passionate advocate for children, working tirelessly to unlock their potential. To Jackie, there is no reason why a child should not achieve. During lockdown Jackie embraced technology, supporting learners with their studies and well-being remotely as well as producing a digital Christmas video instead of a nativity play.

Pearson National Teaching Award winners are chosen and honoured each year for their incredible work supporting learners across the country. Each award winner has repeatedly gone above and beyond their role to change the lives of their students and help them move towards a brighter future.

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. The 2022 Pearson National Teaching Awards open for entry on Friday 26 November 2021.

Jackie Birch said: “Teaching is the best job in the world. I am passionate about children achieving their full potential and to be recognised on a National stage feels overwhelmingly humbling. I am delighted to receive this award – it feels amazing!”

Sir Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “People of all ages will always remember that wonderful teacher who made such a difference in their lives.

“The teacher will never know how many lives they have changed, or the impact they have made on so many families, but our hope is that these awards help show our gratitude.”

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of Pearson School Qualifications, said: “Jacqueline Birch is a shining example of the wonderful educators who work tirelessly across the country to provide the best possible experience for their students, and we thank them all.

“Throughout the awards we’ve heard so many inspirational stories of school and college staff who show such exceptional dedication to their students, to their colleagues, and to their communities. Our congratulations go to all winners on their award.”

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “I would like to congratulate Jacqueline Birch for this recognition of their amazing work and dedication to their students. Winning one of these awards is a terrific achievement and is testament to Jacqueline’s skill, commitment and passion for teaching.

“We are lucky enough to have some of the best teachers in the world and I would like to thank every single one of our education staff for their hard work supporting children and young people, especially during the pandemic.”

Sadie Besley, Senior Director Operations at Randstad, supporter of The Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School, said: “Teachers across the country have responded to unprecedented challenges with hard work and an unceasing commitment to ensuring the best possible education for their pupils.

“In an incredibly challenging field Jacqueline Birch stood out as an extraordinary teacher who gives so much every single day, and she should be very proud of her success.

“At Randstad, we are delighted to support these Awards to thank the incredible teaching staff who continue to offer such hope in these difficult times. They are unfazed by challenges and deserve all the praise in the world.”

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