Press release

Three exceptional teachers receive ENTHUSE Celebration Awards for their contribution to science education

The winners of the ENTHUSE Celebration Awards 2014 were announced yesterday in a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament. The Awards, now in their second year, celebrate exceptional education professionals who have made a significant impact on science teaching in their schools.

This year’s Awards recognise three winners: Leading Science Technician Emma Hawkey from The International School, Birmingham; Primary Science Leader Sarah Eames from Sandfield Close Primary School, Leicester; and Secondary Science Leader Ian McDaid from Handsworth Grange Community Sports College, Sheffield.

All three have been recognised for the significant improvements they have made in their own practice, and the ways they have demonstrated the impact that excellent continuing professional development (CPD) can have on their pupils, their colleagues and the wider school.

The winners, and all those who were nominated, have taken part in science-specific CPD at the National Science Learning Centre and have received bursaries from Project ENTHUSE - a partnership between the Wellcome Trust, the government, related professional bodies and industry - which provides funding for teaching staff from state-funded schools, academies and colleges in the UK to make it easier to access CPD.

Launched in 2008, Project ENTHUSE has already given nearly £14 million in bursaries for over 13,000 science teachers and technicians to participate in high-quality professional development courses delivered by the National Science Learning Centre in York, with 75% of UK secondary schools using ENTHUSE CPD. Improved science teaching is believed to be a major factor in the turnaround in the decline in the number of students taking sciences and mathematics at A level and in the rapid rise in entries at GCSE level sciences.

Sir William Castell, Chairman of the Wellcome Trust, said: “Over the six years that Project ENTHUSE has been running we’ve seen an ongoing rise in pupils taking science subjects at GCSE and A level, and by providing CPD to science teachers we can be confident that the quality of science teaching and learning across the country will continue to flourish. The fantastic achievements of those teachers and technicians who have taken part benefit not just students and their schools, but also the landscape of science education and the future of the UK’s workforce. Everyone who was nominated or shortlisted for an ENTHUSE Celebration Award deserves to be extremely proud of what they have achieved, and I want to say a particular congratulations to our three exceptional winners.”

Emma Hawkey, Leading Science Technician, said: “It was a real honour to have been nominated for, let alone win, this award. It is fantastic to see the role of technicians being celebrated in a scheme like Project ENTHUSE and I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to have taken part in something that has enabled me to take my work further and inspire my fellow technician colleagues.”

Sarah Eames, Primary Science Leader, said: “When I heard that I was nominated for an ENTHUSE Award, I was in the middle of making a register for a Teach Meet, and was so excited that I couldn’t focus! To find out that I’ve actually won is incredible - I love the work I do, so I’m absolutely amazed to have received national recognition for it.”

Ian McDaid, Secondary Science Leader, said: “My experiences have shown first-hand how quickly improvements can be made in a school when teachers are inspired, enthusiastic and given the freedom to take part. Taking part in CPD is such an important way of making sure they stay that way, and so I am really grateful, not only for the award, but for what Project ENTHUSE has allowed me to achieve.”