Outstanding teaching assistants celebrated
The Peter Sutherland Award for the Outstanding HLTA in Yorkshire and Humber was awarded to Jill Birch of Birkwood Primary School in Cudworth, Barnsley. The Jenny Ellis Award for the North East went to Marion Fearon of The Beacon Centre in South Shields; and The HLTA North Partnership Award for the North West was awarded to Sharon Farrell of Willow Tree Primary School in St Helens.
The awards for outstanding HLTAs were introduced in 2010 by Carnegie Leaders in Learning, based at Leeds Beckett University, along with Leeds Trinity University, Northumbria University and Sheffield Hallam University. HLTAs from across the three regions are nominated by school colleagues for their excellence in advancing the learning of pupils, working effectively as part of the school community and bringing expertise to the staff team.
Shortlisted HLTAs, their guests and a senior representative of their school attended the ceremonies where the awards were presented by Dr Helen Whitrod Brown, Associate Dean of the Carnegie Faculty at Leeds Beckett, who commented: “I was delighted to be asked to present this year’s awards for 'Outstanding HLTA' and to hear from those attending the event about the incredible contribution they make to their schools. HLTAs are inspirational, not just for the children they work with and their colleagues in school, but also for those young people who are training to be teachers. Since September 2014, 496 have achieved the Status through HLTA North which is an increase on last year and shows that it continues to be highly valued.”
HLTA status is a national status originally awarded by the Training and Development Agency and currently awarded by the HLTA National Assessment Partnership. It was introduced in 2004 and over 50 000 teaching assistants nationally have now achieved the status. In order to gain HLTA status candidates have to undertake a rigorous assessment process during which they have to demonstrate that they meet 33 professional standards in their work. The HLTA North Partnership is the Regional Provider of Assessment in the North of England with Leeds Trinity University, Northumbria University and Sheffield Hallam University.
Peter Sutherland and Jenny Ellis worked tirelessly to raise the profile of HLTAs within North Yorkshire and Sunderland respectively, and to ensure that the deployment of HLTAs in schools was instrumental in making a difference for children and young people. Peter and Jenny were hugely respected by colleagues in other Local Authorities and were very committed to supporting colleagues and sharing good practice. The awards commemorate their sudden and tragic deaths in 2009.