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National award for ‘24/7’ Chesterfield primary school teacher

Heather Cooper Spire Junior School with her Silver Award
Heather Cooper Spire Junior School with her Silver Award

A Chesterfield primary school teacher has been honoured with a national teaching award.

Heather Cooper, who teaches Year Three at Spire Junior School, received a Pearson Silver Teaching Award on Friday.

Miss Cooper, who has taught at the school for 19 years, is among 65 other winners nationwide who were selected from thousands of nominations.

She is also in the running for the overall ‘Primary School Teacher of the Year’ award, and will attend the Pearson Teaching Awards in London on October 21, as well as a ‘winners’ afternoon tea’ at the House of Commons on July 4.

In October, she could win one of 12 ‘Gold Plato’ awards, dubbed the UK’s ‘Oscars for Teachers’.

David Shaw, headteacher at Spire Junior School, said: “Heather is a shining example of sheer dedication and a real-life 24/7 teacher.

“She encompasses everything Spire Junior stands for and is a huge part of the school.”

Miss Cooper was presented the award in front of the whole school on Friday morning, and the announcement came as a complete shock to her.

She said: “I’m totally proud, and totally shocked really. I couldn’t speak when the award was announced.”

“I always try to do my best for the children.

“They deserve a good education.”

Miss Cooper also gave a special mention to her family and friends, all of the staff at the school and her colleague Ashley Davies, who nominated her for the award.

“Everybody should get a mention,” she said. “I feel honoured to be a part of this whole team.”

October’s awards event will be filmed and broadcast on the BBC, and in the past has featured award presenters such as former Prime Minister David Cameron.