The latest casualty in the fallout from COVID-19 is a trio of awards paying tribute to unsung heroes in south east schools and colleges.
Teacher of the Year Awards events for London, Kent and Sussex originally due to take place in sumptuous surroundings in May and June will now be streamed online.
Organised by a children’s wellbeing charity, the KM Charity Team, the ceremonies – hosted by the charity’s CEO Mike Ward complete with tuxedo and featuring photographs and video clips of the winners – will be shown as virtual events on the charity’s Facebook page.
The London awards will run on Friday, October 9 followed by Kent a week later and Sussex on Wednesday, October 28. All are welcome to view the events and share messages of support on social media.
Many of the winning schools and colleges have arranged screenings on site so they can celebrate with colleagues while adhering to social distancing rules.
Award winners will be revealed for categories including primary, secondary, further education, and newly qualified teachers. Support staff such as caretakers and secretaries will also be recognised, as will volunteers ranging from governors to reader helpers.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards with the Sussex and London events in their third and second years respectively.
The events celebrate excellence in the academic year 2018/19 with winners chosen by three judging panels who scrutinised nominations made by members of the public between December and March.
Under normal circumstances, this year’s champions would have received their accolades during black tie ceremonies held at the Headquarters of British Airways in Heathrow, Jurys Inn Brighton, and the Ashford International Hotel in Kent.
Mike Ward, CEO of the KM Charity Team, said: “It is disappointing that we can’t give our winners the lavish evening they so richly deserve. People working in the education sector operate in incredibly difficult situations at the best of times and are often taken for granted or openly criticised.
“In the current climate it’s more important than ever before to recognise their achievements. An online platform gives us the opportunity to say thank you and to raise awareness of the hard work and dedication going on every day.”
Nominations for all three Teacher of the Year Awards 2021 will open soon at www.KMCharityTeam.co.uk
The KM Charity Team would like to thank all of the organisations involved in supporting the awards:
London Teacher of the Year Awards supporters
British Airways, Principals by CH&CO, KCS, Towergate Insurance, University of Greenwich, The Education People, Streetspace, and Croydon Council.
Kent Teacher of the Year Awards supporters
Kreston Reeves, Kape HR, Kent Further Education, Thinking Schools Academy Trust, KCS, The Education People, Loop CR Ltd, Ashford International Hotel, Streetspace, Canterbury Christ Church Academy, Diggerland, University of Greenwich, Salus, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, and Specialised Sports Products.
Sussex Teacher of the Year Awards supporters
West Sussex County Council, Kreston Reeves, British Airways, 3D Recruit, The Education People, East Sussex County Council, KCS, Jurys Inn, Sussex Newspapers, Diggerland, Streetspace, and Brighton and Hove City Council.