Inspirational Rebecca awarded for teaching next generation of designers and engineers

An inspirational Sleaford design and technology teacher has been awarded a national prize for her outstanding commitment to changing the lives of her pupils.

Design and Technology teacher Rebecca Topps of St George's Academy, with her silver award. EMN-200916-194055001

Selected from thousands of nominations, Rebecca Topps of St George’s Academy is one of just 76 Silver Award winners in the national Teacher of the Year for secondary schools.

The award was presented to her in an outdoor ceremony outside the school today (Wednesday) in front of pupils and recognises her outstanding commitment as a Design and Technology teacher and a role model for female students in the field of engineering, technology, motor vehicles and construction.

She has previously created the Lincolnshire Young Designer of the Year Award in partnership with Lincoln University, to allow pupils to showcase projects at the National Centre for Craft and Design.

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Rebecca actively identifies key skills needed for jobs in industry and then designs her lessons to teach those specific skills to help students go on to thrive after school.

Miss Topps is now in the running for one of just 14 Gold Awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC. This is seen as a great opportunity to celebrate the exceptional school staff who have worked wonders during an incredibly challenging time for educators across the country.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, 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. This year marks its 22nd year of celebrating award-winning teachers, teaching assistants, headteachers and lecturers across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “Over the past year, we have, all of us, come to appreciate and respect the value of teachers. They have so often been taken for granted. Not any more. Parents know now what it takes to teach, and teach well, and how much commitment, dedication and enthusiasm and knowledge and understanding, yes – and patience.

“Children know it too, if they didn’t before. So many missed their teachers as well as their friends. We all honour them today. Let’s now praise them, wish them well and above all, thank them.”

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK, said: “Congratulations to all of our Silver Award winners for their commitment, dedication and passion for their work. Despite the incredible challenges they have faced over the past few months, school staff have risen to the occasion time and again.

“It is so important to recognise and celebrate teachers, teaching assistants and lecturers for the impact they have on our young people every year, and that is why Pearson is delighted to support these awards.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “My warmest congratulations go to all this year’s silver award winners. They should be proud to receive this recognition of their commitment to the profession, and the outstanding education and

guidance they provide for their students.

“Teachers and school staff up and down the country consistently go above and beyond for their students, and this is especially true over the past few months. It is down to their hard work that schools have been able to open their gates to all pupils again for the start of the new term, and I cannot say thank you enough for everything they have done.”