Rebecca is Outstanding HLTA of the Year

Plymouth Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) Rebecca Ward has been awarded the Outstanding HLTA of the Year title for 2017.

Rebecca, who works at Courtlands Special School Academy in Plymouth, was presented with a trophy and framed certificate by Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer at an awards ceremony in Westminster on Monday (20 November).

The Outstanding HLTA Award is aimed at teaching assistants who have gained HLTA status and who go above and beyond the call of duty to demonstrate the vital role that HLTAs play within schools. The award, now in its fifth year, is organised by the HLTA National Assessment Partnership (HNAP), an organisation made up of the four regional assessment providers that work together to manage and quality assure the assessment of standards for HLTAs across England: Best Practice Network (South West, West Midlands, East), University of Northampton, (East Midlands) Babcock 4S (London and the South East) and HLTA North (North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber).

Rebecca qualified for the national award by being judged the South West regional winner in the summer by Best Practice Network’s judges. She attended the national ceremony in Westminster with regional winners from across England. She was nominated for the award by colleagues who recognised her exceptional teaching and learning skills in the classroom, helping Courtlands pupils overcome their difficulties and regain a love of learning, as well as organising and running the school’s holiday provision and summer fair, and providing respite care for many of the school’s families in her own home, evenings and weekends.

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.”

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. Her title is very well deserved.”