Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, on 13 July hosted in Parliament the Pearson Teaching Awards (PTA), an annual event organised to recognise and support inspirational teachers from across the UK.
The Teaching Awards were established in 1999 by Lord Puttnam, as a means of recognising and celebrating excellence in education. The Awards honour outstanding teachers and teaching and highlight just how vital success in education is to the health and wealth of the UK.
The event Alok sponsored and spoke at in Parliament was for Silver Award Winners, from whom the Gold Award winners are chosen later in the year.
Each year the PTA gathers together the list of everyone who has been sent a thank you as part of their 'Thank a Teacher' campaign and then get their team of judges to pick out some of the really outstanding ones for the PTA to recognise and celebrate.
Head teachers, or a senior figure, from the school where a teacher has received a nomination are asked to tell the PTA an appropriate award category for the person and write a supporting statement. Head teachers can also put someone directly in to the awards and skip the 'Thank a Teacher' step.
Top teachers, teaching assistants, Head teachers and teams across the country receive trophies and certificates, and then join the PTA in London for a Finalists Award Ceremony every autumn to announce the UK winners on BBC2 to present them with a Gold Plato.
Alok Sharma said: "I have been delighted to sponsor the Pearson Teaching Awards in Parliament for the last four years. Teachers play a vital role in children's lives and it is absolutely right that their achievements are recognised. The
Teaching Awards provide an excellent opportunity to say thank you to outstanding teachers and we all remember the ones who inspired us at school. Good luck to the Silver Award Winners ahead of the grand final in the autumn."
Mary Palmer, Director of The Pearson Teaching Awards, said: "This week Alok Sharma hosted a tea at the House of Commons on behalf of the Pearson Teaching Awards to celebrate the 56 Silver Teaching Awards winners in 2017. Winning teachers came from across the UK and were joined by their local MP to celebrate their achievements, it was a wonderful event enjoyed by all."
Photo: Alok Sharma speaking at Pearson Teaching Awards