A TEACHING assistant at a Worcester school has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
Debbie Thomasson, of Bishop Perowne CE College, was recently chosen from more than 20,000 nominations as a finalist in the Pearson Teaching Awards.
Mrs Thomasson was nominated for the ‘Teaching Assistant of the Year’ award by her colleagues, for the tireless work she has put into setting up the school’s Nurture Base, which aims to improve the experience of students who have social and emotional difficulties.
Representatives from the Pearson Teaching Awards spent the day with Mrs Thomasson on Wednesday (April 27), speaking with colleagues and meeting students and parents who have received her support.
She was recognised for her wide range of creative methods such as introducing Boris the school dog, who has provided emotional support and help to children developing reading skills, as under confident students find it easier reading to Boris than to an adult.
She also goes beyond her teaching assistant role by holding parenting groups and making home visits to help improve relationships.
Mrs Thomasson said: “I was unaware I had been nominated, so to be told I had been named as a finalist came as a big shock.
“Our school motto is ‘Endeavour Forever’, which is something we try to instill into all the students we support in the Nurture Base.
“It’s always so wonderful to see those we’ve helped go on to reach personal goals they possibly wouldn’t have achieved without the help from our team.”
Headteacher Mark Pollard said: “We’re all thrilled Debbie’s hard work has been recognised.
“Her relentless positive attitude and belief that any student can go on to be successful in our school has led to many students reaching a level of independence in mainstream schooling, that would not have been thought possible when they first came to us.”
The ‘silver’ award winners will be announced in June, before the ‘gold’ award winners are announced at the Teaching Awards UK Ceremony in October, which will be broadcast on BBC Two.