TOP teachers have scooped a prestigious education prize and could be in line for an even bigger gong.

The senior leadership team at St Thomas More’s Catholic Primary School in Priory Street, Colchester, are one of less than 60 entries in the country who have been handed a Silver Pearson Teaching Award – an annual prize for exceptional teachers.

Along with headteacher Bridget Harris, deputy head Elizabeth Hayes, assistant headteachers Natalie Banthorpe and Leona Saker and senior teacher Dave Peck have all been awarded special recognition.

Mrs Harris knew the team had won, but the rest found out as a surprise on Friday which coincided with national Thank a Teacher Day and Colchester MP Will Quince visited the school to help with the presentation.

She said: “It was very difficult to keep it quiet – all week I have been wanting to tell everyone we had been successful.

“There are five of us and I think we all understand we work better together and we are quite a formidable force.

“We have been very successful in terms of school improvement and helping new teachers when they arrive with us.

“But I think the reason we won is because of our work not just with our own school but with others as well.

“We have gone out and helped at other schools who have been struggling and even when Ofsted have put them into special measures.”

The team are now invited to a glitzy bash in London in October for The Pearson Teaching Awards where 11 of the 56 silver winners will be handed gold awards – known as the Oscars of Teaching.

This ceremony, titled Britain’s Classroom Heroes, will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC as a showcase of excellence in education.

President of the awards Michael Morpurgo said: “Becoming an inspirational teacher is a serious, admirable commitment.

“And memorable, outstanding teaching should be celebrated by educators, pupils, parents and throughout society.”

“With these awards we’re taking the time to recognise the remarkable, often unappreciated efforts of fantastic teachers up and down the country.”