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Monday, May 23, 2022

Inspirational Shropshire teacher honoured in UK celebration of teaching

An Oswestry teacher has been named as one of the nation’s most inspirational educators at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Stephen Evans
Stephen Evans

Selected from thousands of nominations, Stephen Evans has won a Gold Award in the Pearson National Teaching Awards for Excellence in Special Needs Education.

The award comes following a week-long celebration of teaching which ended with a prestigious ceremony celebrating all 102 Silver Winners of the Pearson National Teaching Awards. At the ceremony, Stephen was honoured alongside their fellow Gold Winners across 15 categories as the best of the UK’s educators. 

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As Sports & Leisure co-ordinator at Derwen College, which caters for young people with a range of learning difficulties, Steve’s students have a wide variety of complex special educational needs and disabilities. Many arrive at college believing that sport isn’t for them. Steve’s impact on these students has been described as ‘life-changing’ as he works tirelessly to ensure that every young person is included in the huge range of activities he provides and is able to benefit from regular exercise.

His passion and drive has been instrumental in bringing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards to the college, giving students the opportunity, motivation and self-belief to get involved with these challenging awards, encouraging them to strive and attain goals beyond their expectations. Thanks to Steve, disabled students who had never run before have completed half-marathons, and he has made a profound impact on every one of his students’ lives.

Stephen Evans, winner of the Gold Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education, said: 

“Receiving this award is so special. To be recognised in this way is a proud moment for me. We are always looking to create better opportunities for our students, and we believe a healthy and happy young person will go on to achieve great things in life. It’s an inspiring journey to be part of.

“My colleagues and I all want to make a difference to our young people. This award is a real team effort. It’s such a powerful thing to have a positive impact on a student, and to do this work every day is more of a passion than a profession. I’m very honoured to receive this award.”

Sir Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said:

“People of all ages will always remember that wonderful teacher who made such a difference in their lives. The teacher will never know how many lives they have changed, or the impact they have made on so many families, but our hope is that these awards help show our gratitude.”

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of Pearson School Qualifications, said: 

“Stephen Evans is a shining example of the wonderful educators who work tirelessly across the country to provide the best possible experience for their students, and we thank them all. 

“Throughout the awards we’ve heard so many inspirational stories of school and college staff who show such exceptional dedication to their students, to their colleagues, and to their communities. Our congratulations go to all winners on their award.”

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education, 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. The 2022 Pearson National Teaching Awards are now open for entry. 

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