Selected from thousands of nominations, Paul Morris is one of just 76 Pearson National Teaching Awards Silver Award winners across the country, recognised for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children they work with every day. Paul was honoured with a Silver Award in The Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education.
Paul, from TCES North West London school (East Acton), part of The Complete Education Solution (TCES), was nominated for The Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education for his highly effective work as a Head of Art, Graphics, and Design with some uniquely complex and vulnerable pupils. He creates an atmosphere of calm and interest in a classroom where all students can experience themselves as artists. Most recently, Paul has been the driving force in setting up a new Faculty of Creative Arts to embed the Arts even further into the pupils’ experiences, including helping them gain life-long skills that will serve them right through their adulthood.
At a special award ceremony held on the 16th September, Paul was surprised with a congratulations from TCES patron Dame Esther Rantzen as well as from colleagues and pupils who spoke movingly about the difference Paul has made to their lives, enabling them to gain experiences and qualifications they never thought possible.
Paul Morris said: “I’m so proud to receive this award today. I’ve had children sit under a table in my Art room for months before they pluck up the courage to join in…whatever their starting points when they’re in my classroom the only label I allow to be applied to them is ‘artist’. I am grateful to be working within an organisation that supports this approach and sees Art as both an enabling subject for children with SEND, as well as a high-status subject in its own right, which has the potential to set our students on great pathways into further study and employment.”
Thomas Keaney, CEO and Schools’ Proprietor for TCES said: “The incredible exam results that Paul has helped children to achieve, as well as growing their sense of pride and purpose shows what is possible when you embed a philosophy of never giving up on a single child, when you offer a person-centred curriculum with high expectations and let children know that they belong and they are valued.”
Paul 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 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.”
It’s not every day that you get to have your dancing judged by ballroom icon Len Goodman or have Bond actor Colin Salmon comment on your skill at creating powerful characters, but that’s exactly what’s happened for TCES pupils!