South Shields teaching assistant wins top award

Marion Fearon, right, with friend and colleague Deborah Johnson.
Marion Fearon, right, with friend and colleague Deborah Johnson.
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A South Tyneside woman has won a top teaching award.

Marion Fearon, of The Beacon Centre in South Shields, is the winner of The Jenny Ellis Award for the Outstanding Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) in the North East 2014-15.

The award was introduced in 2010 by Carnegie Leaders in Learning, based at Leeds Beckett University, along with Leeds Trinity University, Northumbria University and Sheffield Hallam University, to commemorate the death in 2009 of a much-loved and respected colleague Jenny Ellis from Sunderland Local Authority.

HLTAs from across the region are nominated by their school colleagues for their excellence.

Awards were presented to HLTAs from the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber at a celebration event at the Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

The Jenny Ellis Award was presented by Dr Helen Whitrod Brown, Associate Dean of the Carnegie Faculty at Leeds Beckett.

She said: “I was delighted to be asked to present this year’s awards for ‘Outstanding HLTA’ and to hear from those attending the event about the incredible contribution they make to their schools.

“HLTAs are inspirational, not just for the children they work with and their colleagues in school, but also for those young people who are training to be teachers.

“Since September 2014, 496 have achieved the Status through HLTA North which shows that it continues to be highly valued.”

HLTA status is a national status originally awarded by the Training and Development Agency and now awarded by the HLTA National Assessment Partnership.

It was introduced in 2004 and more than 50,000 teaching assistants nationally have now achieved the status.

In order to gain HLTA status, candidates have to undertake a rigorous assessment process during which they have to demonstrate that they meet 33 professional standards in their work.

The HLTA North Partnership is the regional provider of assessment in the North of England with Leeds Trinity University, Northumbria University and Sheffield Hallam University.

Jenny Ellis worked tirelessly to raise the profile of HLTAs within Sunderland and to ensure that the deployment of HLTAs in schools made a difference for children and young people.

Jenny was hugely respected by her colleagues and was committed to supporting colleagues.