Inspirational work with special needs children wins Rebecca HLTA honour

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Honour: Outstanding HLTA of the Year winner Rebecca Ward receives her trophy and certificate from Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer earlier this month

Inspirational work with pupils who face a range of difficulties, helping them to rediscover their love of learning, has helped Rebecca Ward to win this year’s Outstanding HLTA of the Year title.

Rebecca, who works at Courtlands Special School Academy in Plymouth, collected her prize at a ceremony in Westminster earlier this month.

The Outstanding Higher Level Teaching Assistant Award is aimed at teaching assistants who have gained HLTA status and who go “above and beyond” and demonstrate the vital role that HLTAs can play within schools.

Rebecca qualified for the national award by being judged the South West regional winner in the summer. She was nominated by colleagues who recognised her “exceptional teaching and learning skills in the classroom”. Rebecca often works with Courtlands pupils to help them overcome their difficulties and “regain a love of learning”.

She also organises and runs the school’s holiday provision and summer fair, and even provides respite care for many of the school’s families in her own home.

Courtlands headteacher Lee Earnshaw said: “Rebecca’s quality work and unwavering dedication working for the children in Courtlands school has been inspirational to all members of staff, children and parents.

“Her tireless desire to go the extra mile for the children, and find ways of supporting the families during the holidays as well as in school time is truly outstanding.”

The Outstanding HLTA of the Year Award, now in its fifth year, is organised by the HLTA National Assessment Partnership (HNAP), an organisation made up of the regional assessment providers that manage and quality-assure the assessment of standards for HLTAs working across England.

Professor Richard Rose, chairman of HNAP, said: “Rebecca had to meet a range of exacting criteria set by the judging panel, including demonstrating high aspirations for each pupil, a firm belief in pupils’ abilities and a strong commitment to pupils’ progress, as well as a continuing commitment to her own professional learning and development. This national title is very well deserved.”


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