Rhyming assistant in teaching prize

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A classroom assistant who flunked her maths GCSE has won a Plato award – the "Oscars" of education – at the annual Teaching Awards screened on BBC2 last night.

Becky Newman got a D in her exam but returned to education to work in Tendring Technology College in Frinton, Essex.

She helped children with their multiplication tables by singing rhymes to aid their memories and festooned their classrooms with evidence of what they had achieved in lessons.

Ms Newman is one of the thousands of unsung heroes who have revolutionised the way education is delivered. But, worryingly, their work is under threat as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review.