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Teacher from Maidenhead wins national BTEC award

A teacher from Maidenhead has gone up against other worthy nominees across the UK to win a national award.

The accolade of BTEC Teacher/Tutor of the Year 2018 was given to Tommy Robinson by Pearson, an awarding body for vocational and academic qualifications, on Thursday, July 5. He was nominated for the honour by his fiancee Renata Paradowska, who works at Furze Platt Senior School, and the John Madejski Academy in Whitley, where he works.

Asked what the award means to him, Mr Robinson said: “As a teacher you come in and do your job and do things you do every single day, but you don’t think you’re any better than anyone else.”

Mr Robinson said winning the award is also a reflection of his students and he said without their ‘exceptionally hard work’ he would just be ‘a man in a suit talking to children’.

He is co-ordinator of creative and performing arts at the Reading school, where he has taught for 14 years.

Students on Tommy’s course have performed in 38 productions this year and his students have won many awards including Reading Youth Choir of the Year, Overall Reading Choir of the Year and Under 25s Talent of the Year at the Reading culture awards.

He said: “More than anything else I was happy that it was an arts teacher who won because the arts have taken a bit of a hit.

“Nationally it recognised that the performing arts are important and it’s a proper qualification and profession.”

He added: “The school is in Whitley. It is an area of low aspiration and self-esteem and so a school like ours, doing what we do do lifts the pride of the area.”

“Where they live doesn’t represent who they are and things like this make them feel great about where they are.”

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