Denise Heath, a trainee teacher mentor at North West SCITT, has been named Mentor of the Year by the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT), the voice of school-led initial teacher training and development.
Denise beat off fierce competition from Kate Reeves (Devon Primary SCITT) and Natalie Hosie (Stockton-on-Tees Teacher Training Partnership), who were runners-up in NASBTT’s Mentor of the Year award. This category recognises outstanding mentors who inspire other new and aspiring teachers to take up this important and often underrated role in school.
In awarding the Mentor of the Year prize, the judging panel comprising of education and ITT experts said: “The nomination cites that Denise ‘has the perfect skill-set as a mentor; adapting and amending her own style as the trainees gain confidence and competence’. Over the past five years not only has she trained 14 primary trainees but she has taken a leading role in developing other colleagues for the mentoring role and been proactive in contributing to key developments in the SCITT’s training programme. Denise ‘ensures that any changes to the programme are suitable and manageable for the trainee teachers as well as school-based mentors. Her honest and sensible reflection has been invaluable to us as the programme has developed over the years’. As if this was not enough, Denise is ‘determined to ensure that high-quality trainees are recruited to the programme and offers the opportunity for interested individuals to spend time in their classroom in order to gain a true and realistic understanding of the demands of teaching’.”
Upon receiving the award, Denise said: “I am both delighted and shocked to be the first recipient of NASBTT’s Mentor of the Year award, particularly for something that I thoroughly enjoy doing. I would like to say thank you to Dawn Davies (Executive Lead) and the team at North West SCITT, who over the last five years have allowed me to mentor some amazing trainee teachers, all of whom have gone on to become outstanding teachers in their own right. It is an honour to be part of their training. It gives me great personal satisfaction to see them become amazing teachers, who go onto inspire and change children’s lives. Thanks must also go to NASBTT for hosting such a fantastic awards evening and congratulations to all the winners.”
The inaugural NASBTT Awards, held at the Union Jack Club in London on 11th July, were launched to celebrate excellence in school-based teacher education and recognise the exceptionally hard-working and talented professionals involved in driving the profession.
Sponsoring NASBTT’s Mentor of the Year award category was Outset Teacher Education, which provides e-portfolio solutions to support teachers’ professional development.