TEACHERS have been recognised for their dedication during the pandemic.

Jack Petchey’s Lockdown School Heroes was launched to recognised school and college staff members from London and Essex.

The scheme highlights those who have gone the extra mile to support and motivate students.

Winners include Mark Thomson, an English teacher at St Benedict’s Catholic College, Colchester.

Mr Thomson was nominated for his inventive and innovative approach to education, including one occasion where he stood outside the classroom in the falling snow to give his class a dramatic poetry reading.

He said: “I was so shocked and humbled by this news as I have been nominating students for many years and never imagined I’d ever be nominated myself.

Gazette: Mark Thomson

“During lockdown, I just tried to do the best I could, as we all did, but it is lovely that a student took the time and effort to nominate me.”

Bev Robinson, a lecturer at the Colchester Institute, was nominated for going the extra mile to support a student with PTSD throughout the pandemic.

Miss Robinson said: “To win such a prestigious award was beyond my wildest dreams and I cannot express how humbled I am.

Gazette: Bev Robinson

“When I left the Army after 25 years of service, I decided I would pursue a teaching career and so I applied for a job at Colchester Institute in 2020 as a Public Service’s Lecturer.

“The team have been so supportive to me in my new career and so I believe the award is not mine alone, but also the team I work with.”

All winners were awarded a certificate from the foundation.

Chief executive officer of the foundation Trudy Kilcullen said: “We think all school staff have done an exceptional job during this challenging year to support, engage and motivate young people – both remotely and in schools and colleges.

“We want to recognise those members of staff that have gone the extra mile to help young people thrive, and to give the opportunity for students to nominate those adults that have particularly supported them this year.”