Awards for teachers from St Albans’ Beaumont and Sandringham schools

Neil Levoir (third left) and Jane Pearson (second right) receive their awards accompanied by headte

Neil Levoir (third left) and Jane Pearson (second right) receive their awards accompanied by headteacher Elizabeth Hitch (far left). - Credit: Archant

APPLAUSE rang out at two St Albans schools on Friday when a group of teachers were sent straight to the top of the class after winning prestigious regional education gongs.

Two members of staff from both Sandringham and Beaumont Schools have been recognised by the Pearson Teaching Awards which celebrates excellence in education.

Sandringham teacher Thom Leat was presented with the title of Outstanding New Teacher of the Year and colleague Tamara Fitzgerald won the Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School award.

Thom was put forward for the accolade as in just 18 months at the school he has impressed with his innovative ideas and has driven up standards in history.

Tamara, who has taught at Sandringham for six years, was nominated for her commitment to finding new ways to teach and sharing her knowledge of the profession with other staff.

They were selected from more than 24,000 nominations received by the Pearson Teaching Awards.

Headteacher Alan Gray said: “I think what made them stand out was not just being an outstanding in the classroom but all of the additional things they are doing to improve the progress of young people.

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“Tamara has had a massive impact on the way other staff teach in the school. Thom has a lovely manner and natural authority. Students love going to their lessons.”

He added: “They have done incredibly well and we are really proud of them.”

Elsewhere, at Beaumont Neil Levoir, who is retiring at the end of the academic year, took home the Lifetime Achievement award after being nominated by several parents and students.

Neil qualified as a PE teacher in 1980 and taught in St Albans and Luton before taking up a post at Beaumont as head of PE. He is also head of Year 7 and the special educational needs co-ordinator.

Headteacher Elizabeth Hitch said: “Neil is quite simply an exceptional teacher. We are so delighted that he has received this award after 33 years in teaching; he is a committed, popular and well respected member of staff who has always put students at the heart of everything he does, be it coaching county basketball teams, helping Year 7 students to settle or working with autistic children.”

Jane Pearson was also presented with a distinction in the Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School category. She is the school’s head of history and was singled out by students for her dedication to helping them develop both in out of the classroom.

Mrs Hitch said: “Jane is an exceptional teacher who thoroughly deserves this award.

“We are really proud of her and all she has achieved and recognise the superb contribution she continues to make to school life at Beaumont.”

All of the winners from 62 schools across the country will now go through to the UK finals on October 20.