Barking teacher appears on primetime national TV for awards

A BARKING teacher has been hailed the best in Britain after scooping a prestigious Pride of Britain award.

Rachel Dixon, who joined Ripple Primary School in Barking eight years ago, appeared on primetime television last night after she was named Teacher of the Year 2010 in the Daily Mirror awards.

The 37-year-old has transformed exam results at the school, staged musicals and formed an award-winning samba band – Escola de Samba.

The band, which performed at the Royal Albert Hall last October, played at the celebrity-packed ceremony on Monday as she picked up her gong.

Rachel, who lives in Hornchurch, was told she had won the coveted prize last month:

“I was rehearsing when I noticed the kids weren’t paying any attention to me. I looked around and hip hop group N-Dubz were there.

They presented me with the award, which came as a complete shock.”

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Rachel says she “loves” her job and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. “The children are such massive personalities and the staff I work with are wonderful. I hope to stay at Ripple for years to come.”

Headteacher, Roger Mitchell said: “She is truly outstanding in the classroom.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”

As the school’s literacy co-ordinator, she has almost doubled SAT results in English, from 43 per cent in 2003 to 82 per cent in 2008.

Cllr Rocky Gill Cabinet Member for Education and Children said : “Rachel Dixon is one of Barking and Dagenham’s finest teachers and we are delighted that the children at Ripple School benefit from her expertise and commitment. We are extremely proud of her achievements and she really deserves this award.”

The ceremony - held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London - saw Rachel rub shoulders with Russell Brand while she sat on a table with members of the EastEnders cast.

The awards will be screened on Wednesday) at 8pm on ITV1.