Four teachers from across Andover have been recognised for their outstanding work by the county council.

Hampshire County Council held their annual education awards virtually earlier this week.

It recognises teachers and staff from schools and colleges across the county who have excelled this year.

And among the victors were five staff from schools in Andover.

Among them is Ian Hickman, headteacher of Appleshaw St Peter's Church of England Primary School.

Ian was awarded the 'education leadership award'.

The category is aimed at middle or senior leaders, with responsibility for improving outcomes beyond the children and young people that they work with directly, such as leadership or curriculum or pastoral team, year group, support team, or whole school/college responsibility.

Judges said that Ian "puts the best interests of the children at the heart of the school".

"He developed a charter which emphasises the importance of a broad and well-rounded curriculum, and is a champion for wellbeing and improving the mental health of children.

"His approach has led to him being engaged in national discussion in relation to SATs testing.

"An excellent leader, Ian was approached to support another school alongside his leadership of Appleshaw, as a temporary Executive Headteacher and successfully did this with minimal disruption."

Also victorious in the 2020 ceremony was Megan Underwood, of John Hanson Community School.

The flying colours award is aimed at teachers who have recently qualified and have made a significant contribution or development as a teacher.

According to the judges: "Megan is recognised by her colleagues as an exceptional teacher who is an inspiration to others in the profession.

"Previously a teaching assistant before embarking on her teacher training, Megan now often leads on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sharing her innovative strategies with others.

"Megan has a ‘deep rooted desire’ to support all students and goes the extra mile every day for them."

From Portway Junior School, Mathew Clarke picked up the apprentice award.

The judges said that Mathew, who commenced the Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Level 3 Apprenticeship in September 2018, is "described as excellent at de-escalating potential behavioural issues".

"Mathew has developed immeasurably since his appointment having a positive impact on the school and becoming a big part of the school community," they added.

And Rosemary Scott, of Smannell Field School, was given the 'improving life chances award'.

The category is aimed at any staff members in schools or colleges, whether teachers or support staff, making a significant difference to disadvantaged or vulnerable children.

"Rosemary works tirelessly to improve the life chances of children and young people in Hampshire," judges said.

"Young people who have often felt hopeless have been scooped up by Rosemary and set back on their feet.

"She has supported generations of parents and carers, ensuring they too successfully navigate often painful journeys and the web of services to support themselves and their children.

"Rosemary never gives up and is described as vigorous and determined as well a relentlessly aspirational for the children and families she works with."

Councillor Roz Chadd, HCC's executive member for education and skills, said: “This has been a truly challenging year for our exceptionally hard-working teachers, support staff and volunteers.

"They have gone above and beyond to keep our schools and colleges going, in very testing and trying circumstances.

"These awards have showcased the fantastic dedication and talent across Hampshire’s family of schools and colleges.

“This is a chance to say a very special thank you to all the award recipients who, along with their colleagues, have made a real difference, not only in helping grow our pupils, but in adapting, overcoming and coping with the additional pressures that COVID-19 has brought about.”

More than 35 teachers, support staff and governors across Hampshire received awards, judged by headteachers and a college principal.

The Romsey School's Jan Lefley and Susan Parish were the other teachers to receive awards in the Test Valley district, winning the community impact award.