Winner of Silver Award for Outstanding New Teacher in a Secondary School is honoured today, Wednesday 21 June, in celebration on National Thank a Teacher Day

Ayla Zenkic, Teacher of Computing from Bishop Challoner Catholic College, has been selected from thousands of nominations to win a Pearson National Teaching Silver Award. Ayla was honoured with the Silver Award for Outstanding New Teacher in a Secondary School for her outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children she works with every day.

She was presented with the award at the school, in Kings Heath, Birmingham, this afternoon.

Ayla has been instrumental in the drive to encourage more students, especially girls, to study Computing at the school, inspiring them with her outstanding teaching and commitment to exciting and meaningful extra-curricular activities.

Ayla has now been shortlisted to win one of just 16 Gold Awards, which will be announced and celebrated at a gala ceremony in London on 25 November and televised on the BBC, with winners showcased on The One Show.

The honours have been announced on National Thank a Teacher Day, an annual event celebrating the role of educators across the UK for the valued role they play in communities and shaping young people. This year, students were joined by celebrities including Sir Michael Morpurgo, Edith Bowman, Bobby Seagull, Ore Oduba and Nadiya Hussain to mark their teachers' achievements.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education run by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity now in its 25th year, that recognises the life-changing work that takes place in education, highlighting the vital role educators play and the work that’s delivered in schools and colleges every day.

Michael Morpurgo, author, former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, says: “I am inspired by the devotion of teachers and the huge impact they have on the lives of the young people they tutor, support, encourage and motivate day in and day out. The valuable role they play both inside and outside the classroom has inspired generations of young people across the country to achieve their potential. I am delighted to congratulate the winners of the 2023 Awards and thank them all for the amazing contributions they have made to our communities.”

Sharon Hague, Senior Vice President of Schools at Pearson UK, says: “We would like to congratulate today’s Silver winners on their incredible achievements. We can’t underestimate the huge contribution schools make to our young people’s lives and Ayla is an inspiring example of the positive impact an individual can have on pupils and communities.”

Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan said: “People go into teaching to change lives, and so many of us are lucky to have been shaped and influenced by the best of the teaching profession.

“These awards mark the exceptional contribution that incredible headteachers, teachers and support staff make every single day, nurturing the potential of our young people across the country.

“Congratulations to each and every winner and thank you for all you do for our children.”