Winner of the East Midlands Outstanding Higher Level Teaching Assistant Award 2018 announced

News Page 22nd June 2018

The University of Northampton is pleased to announce that Debbie Farmer from Mapperley C of E Primary School, Ilkeston, Derbyshire has been awarded 2018’s most outstanding Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) for the East Midlands.

The award celebrates teaching assistants who have gained Higher Level Teaching Assistant status through the University of Northampton. The initiative is a partnership between the East Midlands Regional Provider of Assessment and the HLTA National Assessment Partnership, and seeks to recognise the valuable role HLTAs play in schools.

A panel of education professionals from a range of settings within the region narrowed candidates down to a short-list of five. Candidates were assessed on the following criteria:

·         Their contribution to advancing pupils’ learning utilising their own specialist knowledge

·         Their high aspirations for all pupils and their support in achieving this

·         Their commitment to their own continued professional learning

·         Their commitment to the wider school community

Debbie received the award in recognition of her “boundless enthusiasm to plan and lead whole school initiatives as well as her dedication and commitment to ensuring the pupils have a rich and vibrant school experience”.

Debbie covers whole classes, leads on PE and is instrumental in developing learning outside the classroom initiatives. Debbie has recently earned the school the Woodland Trust Green Tree award at gold level; she has undertaken the level 3 forest school practitioner qualification and developed a partnership with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. This expertise is used to lead inset sessions for her school and others as well as to lead training for staff from other schools, preschools and governors. In PE, Debbie has ensured the school has achieved the School Games gold mark for four years, she attends school sports partnership events and encourages pupils to take part in competitions and act as school Young Ambassadors, even on her days off. Her classroom work within KS 1 and 2 has had a significant impact on the pupils she teaches and their outcomes as a result of her high aspirations for every pupil.

Wendy Yarnall, HLTA Project Manager, East Midlands and Senior Lecturer in Education at the University, said: “The panel was most impressed by the standard of work and commitment evidenced in the nominations which were made by senior colleagues at their schools and we commend all the finalists. It is clear that HLTAs are highly regarded members of staff and play a key role within their school community which impacts directly on the learning and life chances of the pupils they work with”.

Debbie was accompanied by her fellow finalists – Kathryn Brickwood from Greens Norton C of E Primary School, Towcester, Northants, Kate Keeling from Hayfield Primary School, Hayfield, Derbyshire, Gemma Lightfoot from St Andrews C of E VA Primary School, Ecton Brook, Northampton and Andrea Percival from St Paul’s C of E Primary School, Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire at an awards ceremony on Thursday 21st June.

Debbie will now go on to represent the East Midlands region at the National HLTA of the Year Award, which will be presented in London in November 2018.

For information on HLTA Programmes held in Derby please contact Emma Stephenson on or on 01604 893527.


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