A lecturer at Sunderland College has been announced as an award winner for the prestigious 2018 Pearson Teaching Awards.

Jonathan Wharton, a Drama Lecturer at Sunderland College, has won a Silver Teaching Award for Further Education Lecturer of the Year.

Selected from thousands of nominations, Jonathan is one of 65 winners across the UK who will be celebrated today, on 22 June 2018, to coincide with Thank a Teacher Day.

Jonathan was officially presented with his Silver Pearson Teaching Awards trophy at a surprise celebration event held at the Arts Academy at the College’s Bede Campus. He said:

“I am completely overwhelmed by this award. I have learnt so much from the staff here. They have given me so much support and encouragement.

“The students have been incredible and I feel privileged to have guided them through this academic year. The arts are suffering so much in education, which is an incredible shame; seeing the students push forward academically and with increased confidence has been an amazing thing to witness.

“Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me achieve this award, it’s been a huge group effort from all at Sunderland College.”

The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, 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 teach.

Shauna Lebihan, who is studying drama at Sunderland College, said: “Today’s presentation was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate Jonathan’s success and to be able to express our gratitude to him.  It has been an excellent year and we have been given so many different opportunities. He thoroughly deserves this award.”

Jonathan will join fellow Silver Award winners at the 20th UK Pearson Teaching Awards event, a glittering ceremony held at The Brewery in London on 21 October 2018.  There they will find out which of them has won one of just 12 Gold Plato Awards, the UK’s Oscars for teachers.

Prior to that on 4 July Jonathan has also been invited, along with a guest, to the House of Commons for a Celebratory Tea.

Sheree Rymer, Curriculum Manager for Creative Arts at Sunderland College, who nominated Jonathan for the award said: “From the moment the nomination email came through, I knew I had to nominate Jonathan. He came to Sunderland College on a fixed term contract, for maternity cover, and since then he has changed the lives of students and the morale of colleagues.

“He constantly goes the extra mile at every opportunity for students, and the wider community. The wealth of extra-curricular activities within the college shows his dedication to young people and the creative arts sector within the city of Sunderland.

“For a newly qualified teacher, he has demonstrated that he does this vocation with passion and a commitment to improving others through education.  This is a quality that is very special and when you see it you know it needs to be recognised.”

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK, said:

“A huge congratulations to all those receiving a silver trophy today.  They should feel extremely proud of their achievements and join an inspirational group of Teaching Award winners from the past two decades.

“It’s an honour for Pearson to support these Awards each year – it’s so vital to recognise and celebrate those in the teaching profession, for their commitment to education and for the impact they have on young people’s lives.”

For more information about drama and other creative arts courses at Sunderland College, ring 0191 511 6000, email info@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk or go to www.sunderlandcollege.ac.uk