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Inspirational educators win prestigious national teaching award

A team of lecturers from Gower College Swansea has been recognised with a Silver Award for FE Team of the Year in the Pearson National Teaching Awards. Selected from thousands of nominees, the win highlights the remarkable impact they have on shaping the lives of the young people in their care.

The College’s Landscaping and Eco Construction team embarked on their journey in 2019, launching a pilot part-time course for learners from local Swansea comprehensive schools. Impressively, even in the absence of dedicated funding for equipment, resources, or specialist staffing, all 80 learners successfully completed their qualification. Throughout the programme, they developed essential skills such as resilience, organisation, and teamwork, showcasing their dedication and commitment to the programme.

The success of this pilot provided the catalyst for a vision to develop an 'outdoor learning school' where learners are at one with nature, can thrive and feel valued and successful.

Fast forward to 2024, and the team has recently moved its provision into a dedicated Green Hwb, which was recently officially opened by Iolo Williams. The Green Hwb features incredible student facilities such as workrooms and art rooms, while outside there is a kitchen garden, food production area, a pond, polytunnel and orchard.

The Landscaping and Eco-Construction teaching team are among 102 deserving teachers, lecturers, leaders, support staff and institutions  named as silver winners in this year’s awards. They will now be in the running for the coveted Gold Award, which will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony later in the year.

The announcement comes as celebrities, students and schools across the UK are today paying tribute to all those who work in education to mark National Thank a Teacher Day, which celebrates the whole education community and shines a light on the exceptional impact they have on shaping young lives.

National Thank a Teacher Day and the Pearson National Teaching Awards are run by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity established over 25 years ago to celebrate the transformative impact of education, shining a spotlight on the pivotal roles teachers, support staff, colleges, schools and early years educators play in inspiring young people, every single day.

Michael Morpurgo, author, former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, says: “The work and devotion of all of those who play a role in educating young people is phenomenal. Not only do they play a vital role in shaping minds inside the classroom, often they continue to encourage, support, motivate and inspire beyond. That’s why it is important for us to take a moment on this National Thank a Teacher Day to recognise their efforts.

“I am also thrilled to be able to congratulate this year’s Silver Award winners and recognise the amazing contributions and commitment they have shown is shaping the lives of the next generation - thank you!”

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of School Assessment & Qualifications at Pearson UK, says: 
“We're delighted to recognise this year’s Silver Award winners on their outstanding achievements. The contributions they make and the impact they have on young people’s lives every day is truly exceptional. We're extremely proud to support the National Teaching Awards and mark the achievements of all of our very worthy winners. Thank you for your continued work and congratulations!!”

Gower College Swansea’s Director of Skills Development and Schools Partnership, Jenny Hill, adds:

“From very humble beginnings in 2019 our Landscaping and Eco Construction team, led by Lynne Burrows, now successfully delivers Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications to over 150 learners, some of whom are very vulnerable.

“The support offered to these learners is second to none. Each learner has an individualised learning plan that stretches and challenges them whilst building confidence and resilience. Support staff are an integral feature within this team, offering both academic and pastoral support.”  

Gower College Swansea Principal, Kelly Fountain, says:

“We are incredibly proud of our eco-construction and landscaping team who are committed to ensuring every learner can access educational opportunities even beyond the boundaries of a traditional classroom. In addition to developing essential skills like teamwork and communication, our team have ignited ambition amongst our learners, raised aspirations, given them a sense of belonging and opened their eyes to future career and progression opportunities.

“These initiatives have also enhanced public spaces, instilling a sense of community pride with a strong emphasis on sustainability. We are incredibly proud of our teaching team and support staff. Their dedication and hard work are truly deserving of this award today.”


The Pearson National Teaching Awards are open to every early years setting, school and college across the UK. The awards were established by Lord Puttnam CBE in 1998 and are managed by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity. The vision of the charity is to recognise and celebrate the impact of education across the UK. It does this through its public-facing ‘Thank A Teacher’ campaign, and through the Pearson National Teaching Awards

At Pearson, our purpose is simple: to add life to a lifetime of learning. We believe that every learning opportunity is a chance for a personal breakthrough. That’s why we’re committed to creating vibrant and enriching learning experiences designed for real-life impact. We are the world’s leading learning company, serving customers in nearly 200 countries with digital content, assessments, qualifications, and data. For us, learning isn’t just what we do. It’s who we are.  

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best-loved writers for children. With a writing career that spans four decades, he has written over 100 books, selling more than 5 million copies in the UK and over 35 million worldwide. A former Children’s Laureate, Michael has won countless prizes, including the Smarties prize, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Whitbread Award, and was awarded an OBE for Services to Literature. Michael was also awarded an MBE in 1999, along with his wife Clare, in recognition of their work in founding Farms For City Children, a charity that has enabled 100,000 children to visit the charity’s three farms over the last 40 years.