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Aurora Hanley School

Principal Tracy Whitehurst from Aurora Hanley School in Bucknall has been recognised with a Silver Award in the Pearson National Teaching Awards. Selected from thousands of nominees, the win highlights the remarkable impact she has on shaping the lives of the young people in her care.

Tracy has been responsible for setting up, opening, and leading Aurora Hanley School and Aurora Summerfields School, achieving two outstanding Ofsted reports.  She’s established the schools firmly as a front-runner of outstanding practice nationally.

Julie Martin, Head of School at Aurora Hanley, said: “She’s installed a culture of high aspirations and expectations, care and compassion for all staff, students and families in her reach.  As an exceptional practitioner, she’s dedicated her life to working in the special needs arena. She brought this experience to life in her schools, relishing the opportunity to build them from scratch and applying all her learning to make it the most fabulous provision imaginable.”  

She’ll now be in the running for the coveted Gold Award, which will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony later in the year. 

The announcement comes as students and schools across the UK are today paying tribute to all those who work in education to mark National Thank a Teacher Day, which celebrates the whole education community and shines a light on the exceptional impact they have on shaping young lives. 

National Thank a Teacher Day, and the Pearson National Teaching Awards are run by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity established over 25 years ago to celebrate the transformative impact of education, shining a spotlight on the pivotal roles teachers, support staff, colleges, schools and early years educators play in inspiring young people, every single day.

Michael Morpurgo, author, former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, says: “The work and devotion of all of those who play a role in educating young people is phenomenal. Not only do they play a vital role in shaping minds inside the classroom, often they continue to encourage, support, motivate and inspire beyond. That’s why it is important for us to take a moment on this National Thank a Teacher Day to recognise their efforts. 

“I am also thrilled to be able to congratulate this year’s Silver Award winners and recognise the amazing contributions and commitment they have shown that are shaping the lives of the next generation. Thank you!”

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of School Assessment & Qualifications at Pearson UK, says: “We're delighted to recognise this year’s Silver Award winners on their outstanding achievements. The contributions they make and the impact they have on young people’s lives every day is truly exceptional. We're extremely proud to support the National Teaching Awards and mark the achievements of all of our very worthy winners. Thank you for your continued work and congratulations!!”