Inspirational Wakefield teachers honoured in prestigious celebration of teaching

Two Wakefield teachers have today been named among 80 Pearson National Teaching Silver Award winners across the country.

By Leanne Clarke
Friday, 27th May 2022, 9:19 am

Jackie Gray, Director of Early Years at Outwood Primary Academy Ledger Lane received the Lifetime Achievement award and Jack Andrews, class teacher at Middlestown Primary Academy, received the award for Outstanding New Teacher of the Year.

The Silver Award winners have now been shortlisted to win one of just 16 Gold Awards later in the year.

Recognition of this once in a lifetime achievement will be broadcast on the BBC’s The One Show as part of a week-long celebration of teaching, which sees famous faces honour award winners every night in the run up to the ceremony.

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Jackie Gray, Director of Early Years at Outwood Primary Academy Ledger Lane received the Lifetime Achievement award and Jack Andrews, class teacher at Middlestown Primary Academy, recived the award for Outstanding New Teacher of the Year.

Winners are being honoured as part of the wider celebrations for national ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, bringing together everyone across the country to celebrate the schools and colleges at the heart of our communities.

Outwood Academy Ledger Lane's Jackie Gray has been in education for over 40 years and was the first Early Years Advanced Skills teacher (AST) in Wakefield.

After succeeding in teaching and leadership roles, Jackie became Lead Local Authority Consultant in 2008 and led on the implementation of systematic synthetic phonics across Wakefield Authority.

As a result, the Good Level of Development increased from well below the national average to in line with the national average.

Jack Andrews is currently in his third year of teaching and teaches in Year 3 at Middlestown Primary Academy.

He is the English leader across the whole primary school, and he oversees the school council. He uses a range of strategies to engage and enthuse children about their learning, including drama and IT.

Colleagues report that listening to him reading a story is ‘an experience in itself’.

Jack immerses the children in their learning through practical, memorable activities and infectious enthusiasm. He has an open mindset towards all aspects of school life, and this motivates his colleagues too. He has a willingness to give anything a go, to go above and beyond, ensure that he’s viewed as a fantastic role model to others and as an asset to Middlestown Primary.

One of her greatest achievements was leading a programme of support for the Private, Voluntary and Independent school settings in Wakefield. The aim was to raise quality and standards and increase the number of settings achieving an Ofsted grade of 'Good’ or better, an aim Jackie met. Over three years, the number of settings rated 'Good’ or better went from 66% to 100%.

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of Schools at Pearson UK, said: “Congratulations to today’s Silver Award winners on their incredible achievement, they should all feel very proud of themselves.

"And thank you to all the incredible educators and support staff across this country who really do make our schools and colleges so special. I am delighted that we can take this opportunity to say how much we appreciate all that you do for the young people in your care.”

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Congratulations to Jackie Gray and Jack Andrews on this incredible achievement, and for the hard work and dedication which led up to it. Winning this award is impressive, well-deserved and shows Jackie and Jack’s commitment to helping students achieve their full potential.”