National award for Cottingham School administrator

Carolynn Southcombe, School Administrator at Cottingham CofE Primary School, has been named as one of 80 Pearson National Teaching Award Silver Award winners across the country.

Carolynn is honoured with a Silver Award for ‘Unsung Hero’, for her outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children she works with every day.

Carolynn has worked as an administrator at Cottingham School for 20 years, having previously served in the RAF for eight years and then worked as a special constable for four years.

Carolynn completed courses in business administration, book keeping and shorthand. She volunteered with the Scouts and ran a Beaver Scout colony for 10 years. She’s now focused on making her school a happy and vibrant place for the children. She regularly supports children and their families with regards to anxiety, self-esteem and behaviour, leads the pupil ‘Magnificent Minds’ group and takes weekly yoga sessions for children.

Carolynn has also raised funds for the school, taking part in the London-to-Brighton walk, London Marathon and a 100-mile walking challenge. As well as raising thousands of pounds for the children, charities including The British Heart Foundation and Breast Cancer UK have also benefited from her support.

As a Silver Award winner, Carolynn has now been shortlisted to win one of just 16 Gold Awards later in the year. Recognition of this achievement will be broadcast on the BBC’s The One Show as part of a week-long celebration of teaching, which sees famous faces honour award winners every night in the run up to the ceremony. This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the exceptional school leaders and teachers who have worked wonders to bring together their local communities despite the challenges of the past few years. 

The Silver Award winners are being honoured as part of the wider celebrations for national ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, bringing together everyone across the country to celebrate the schools and colleges at the heart of our communities. 

Ashley Scott, Head Teacher at Cottingham CofE Primary School, said:

“During my time as the Headteacher at Cottingham CofE Primary School, I have been lucky to work with super colleagues and Carolynn has been a very special colleague. Not only does she support me, but as the front of house she welcomes parents and visitors with an amazing greeting that is now well known.  

“Carolynn is very efficient in her admin role but goes above and beyond to ensure that the staff and pupils in particular are happy. She is very well thought of throughout the Cottingham community and very much deserves the recognition that the Pearson Award offers.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said:

“Congratulations to Carolynn Southcombe on this incredible achievement, and for the hard work and dedication which led up to it. Winning this award is impressive, well-deserved and shows Carolynn’s commitment to helping students achieve their full potential.”

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of Schools at Pearson UK, said:

“Congratulations to all our Silver Award winners on their incredible achievement, they should all feel very proud of themselves. And thank you to all the incredible educators and support staff across this country who really do make our schools and colleges so special. I am delighted that we can take this opportunity to say how much we appreciate all that you do for the young people in your care.”

Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: 

“For so many of us, it was someone at school who changed our lives, was at our side through hard and difficult times, who lifted us up when we were down, helped us find our voice, gave us confidence when we needed it most, and set us on a path that we have followed ever since. 

“No matter who we are, school has touched our lives and played a central role in our childhoods. School is about so much more than learning, and we see that now more than ever before. Schools really are the beating heart of our communities. Every person that cares for our children in schools should be celebrated loud and clear on Thank A Teacher Day 2022.” 

The Pearson National Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of excellence in education, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with. This year marks the 23rd year of the awards, celebrating our school teaching staff across the UK.