A Corby village school administrator has been named a winner in a national teaching awards scheme which honours staff for their outstanding work.
Carolynn Southcombe, administrator at Cottingham C of E Primary School, has been honoured with a Pearson National Teaching Silver ‘Unsung Hero’ Award.
The Pearson National Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of excellence in education, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impacts of inspirational teachers.
Ashley Scott, headteacher at Cottingham C of E Primary School, said: “Carolynn has been a very special colleague. Not only does she support me, but as the front of house she welcomes parents and visitors with an amazing greeting that is now well known.
“Carolynn is very efficient in her admin role but goes above and beyond to ensure that the staff and pupils in particular are happy. She is very well thought of throughout the Cottingham community and very much deserves the recognition that the Pearson Award offers.”
Carolynn has worked at the school for 20 years, having previously served in the RAF for eight years and as a special constable for four. As a Scouting volunteer she ran a Beaver Scout colony for a decade.
As well as using her role to focus on making her school a happy and vibrant place for the children, she regularly supports children and their families with anxiety, self-esteem and behaviour issues, and leads the pupil ‘Magnificent Minds’ group and takes weekly yoga sessions for children.
Carolynn has also raised thousands of pounds for the school, having taken part in the London-to-Brighton walk, London Marathon and a 100-mile walking challenge. Other charities, including The British Heart Foundation and Breast Cancer UK, have also benefited from her support.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Congratulations to Carolynn Southcombe 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 Carolynn’s commitment to helping students achieve their full potential.”
As a Silver Award winner, Carolynn has now been shortlisted to win one of just 16 Gold Awards later in the year. Recognition of this achievement will be broadcast on 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.
The Silver Award winners are also 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.
Author Michael Morpurgo, president of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “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.”