Top of the class!

It’s been dubbed as the ‘Oscars of the teaching world’, and Rohit Naik of Hope School, Liverpool, is celebrating being named Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School at the Pearson Teaching Awards.

Rohit was surprised during a normal day at school when Liverpudlian actress, Sunetra Sarker, made an appearance to reveal the good news to him in person. Rohit was one of just eleven teachers across the country to win a ‘Gold Plato’ at the Pearson Teaching Awards, which was held at the East Wintergarden in London.

Hosted by BBC Presenter, Naga Munchetty, alongside broadcaster, Sean Fletcher, the annual ceremony was aired last night on BBC2 as ‘Britain’s Classroom Heroes’, showed viewers all about the inspirational work behind his award win.

Rohit was nominated for the accolade by pupils, parents and colleagues from his school.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Nick Small, said: “This is an incredible personal and professional achievement for Rohit, and I’m delighted his dedication and commitment to both his pupils and staff, have been recognised.

“This award is a celebration of the excellence Rohit instills in Hope School, and the fact that he was nominated by his school community speaks volumes about how highly he is regarded. I’d like to extend my congratulations and hope this award inspires people across the city to acknowledge those education staff who go above and beyond on a daily basis – let’s aim for another Liverpool winner in 2018!”

Rohit has been the Headteacher of Hope School since 2002. Hope School is a school for boys with social, emotional and mental health difficulties (aged 5-13).

Rohit has a clear passion and commitment to providing the best outcomes for the children in his care, ensuring they all have equal opportunities to reach their potential, and is known for spending more time with the children than in his office. He has moved away from traditional SEMH (social, emotional and mental health) strategies to investing in ways for staff to truly understand the function of behaviours – such as speech and language counselling and CPD courses (Continuing Professional Development) – to make differences that will improve outcomes for children as they move into adulthood.

To ensure his fellow teachers have opportunities to unwind and chill out at weekends, Rohit has even converted a mini bus into a camper van to be at the disposal of all staff who wish to use it.

Other award categories include Further Education Team of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, and Outstanding Use of Technology in Education.

The Pearson Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching. Founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam, they recognise the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach.

Michael Morpurgo, Children’s Author and new President of the Pearson’s Teaching Awards said: “I am honoured to be the new President of the Pearson Teaching Awards.  Teachers are the quiet heroes. By telling their stories, by highlighting their skill and dedication, we can do some justice to them and to the whole profession. Through the Teaching Awards, we hope to enhance the reputation and value of the teacher s in our lives, their importance in our society, and thus help to encourage the most talented and committed young people to become teachers.”

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK, said: “Great teaching improves the life chances of our children. It’s an incredibly tough, pressured and wearing job. Teachers deserve all the support we can give them, now more than ever. That’s why these Pearson Teaching Awards are important, and that’s why I’m delighted once again to lend our support to giving teaching the recognition it deserves.”

Parents and students alike can recognise and thank the teachers who are making a difference by visiting http://teachingawards.com/thank-a-teacher/ to thank a teacher. Doing so means they will be in with a chance of winning at next year’s ceremony.