Birchwood Junior School Assistant Headteacher Wins Silver in the Pearson National Teaching Awards

Melanie Burgess, Assistant Headteacher at Lincoln Birchwood Junior School, has been named as one of 80 Pearson National Teaching Award Silver Award winners across the country. Melanie is honoured with a Silver Award in the category ‘Teacher of the Year in a Primary School’ for her outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children she works with every day.

Melanie has been teaching at Birchwood Junior School for seven years, where she started as a newly qualified teacher. She has implemented many strategies to ensure that the pupils have opportunities outside of their environment, such as residential trips to London and beyond-the-classroom tasks.

Melanie has led Maths for the last three years and under her leadership, the school (which is in the top 20% deprived areas within the UK) has been above the national average for the last two years. She is passionate about professional development and is currently studying for her PhD in education, focusing on professional development of all staff within school.

As a Silver Award winner, Melanie has 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. This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the exceptional school leaders and teachers who have worked wonders to bring together their local communities despite the challenges of the past few years. 

The Silver Award 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. 

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. This year marks its 23rd year of celebrating our school teaching staff across the UK.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said, “Congratulations to Melanie Burgess 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 Melanie’s commitment to helping students achieve their full potential.”

Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust said, “For so many of us, it was someone at school who changed our lives, was at our side through hard and difficult times, who lifted us up when we were down, helped us find our voice, gave us confidence when we needed it most, and set us on a path that we have followed ever since. 

“No matter who we are, school has touched our lives and played a central role in our childhoods. School is about so much more than learning, and we see that now more than ever before. Schools really are the beating heart of our communities. Every person that cares for our children in schools should be celebrated loud and clear on Thank A Teacher Day 2022.” 

Winner Melanie said, “Our School sits in an incredible community of people who inspire me and my colleagues every day. Any awards won are entirely due to the kind and compassionate children and families who live here. It is my life’s great privilege to be a small part of that.”