Pearson Teaching Awards in London: A celebration of the UK's dedicated teachers

The judges recognised the winners' enthusiasm, commitment and energy

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The Independent Online

To the annual Pearson Teaching Awards at London's Guildhall, and proof of the old adage "if at first you don't succeed".

Claire Warlow – who teaches children with learning difficulties from the age of three to seven at the specialist teaching facility at Tre Uchaf primary in Swansea – scooped primary teacher of the year at the awards ceremony.

She tried three times to join the profession before she was successful.

One of the biggest rounds of applause went to Hugh Quarshie, who plays surgeon Ric Griffin in Holby City, who told the audience how he had opted for a state school education for his children.

He was sent to a private school and struggled with the lack of diversity.

Then there was Kerry Poole, of Wolverley Church of England School, in Worcestershire – winner of the secondary school teacher of the year award. She was described by the judges as "a truly exceptional teacher who's endless enthusiasm, dedication, commitment and energy inspire students and colleagues alike".

Her motto is "we can do even better". The judges said that this driving force helps those in her care grow in confidence and self-esteem.

There's a hint here of Sir Michael Wilshaw, who has banned the "satisfactory" category for school rankings.

Finally, good to see Education Secretary Nicky Morgan staying for the whole ceremony – it's some time since that happened.

Incidentally, she seems to have created some workload problems of her own by attempting to find a solution to the problem of overworked teachers.

She asked the profession for suggestions last week as to how their conditions could be improved – only to find herself receiving more than 20,000 responses in the first few days. It had, she said, certainly guaranteed a huge workload for her staff.