Dagenham primary staff member scoops award for 'tireless' work in pandemic

Katy-Anne Waite

Katy-Anne Waite has been crowned practitioner of the year by the School-Home Support charity. - Credit: Mayesbrook Park School

A woman has scooped a national award for helping children to stay in school.

Katy-Anne Waite has been crowned practitioner of the year by the School-Home Support charity for her work with families and pupils at Mayesbrook Park in Dagenham.

The school provides alternative educational provision for young people who have had difficulties with their learning and behaviour in mainstream school in Barking and Dagenham.

Katy-Anne said: "It means everything to win this award. You don't go into a job like this for the recognition or credit, but hearing the nominations from my colleagues was very rewarding.

"It's heart-warming to have my work acknowledged like this and gives me even more motivation to carry on going the extra mile.

"I love seeing the impact I've had on the lives of children, young people and their families in my own borough."

The annual award celebrates the person who has made a significant contribution to leading the charity’s mission to help children be in school and ready to learn.

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It is named the Terry Farrell practitioner of the year award in memory of the late co-founder of School-Home Support.

Katy-Anne kept in touch with families and youngsters remotely despite the challenges presented by the pandemic and lockdowns.

One of her award nominations, written by a colleague, reads: "In life, you meet some very 'good' people, those that really genuinely care for others and for social justice and Katy, you are one of them."

Annie Blackmore, who was executive headteacher of Mayesbrook Park when Katy-Anne received the award, said: "This award is so well deserved.

"Building trust with families is at the heart of our success and Katy has worked tirelessly through a challenging year to offer help and support to our Mayesbrook Park community. We are so lucky to have her on the team."

This is not the first time Katy-Anne's work has been in the spotlight, as she has appeared on Sky News and in Hello magazine to promote the charity's work with patron Lady Sophie Windsor.

Cllr Evelyn Carpenter, cabinet member for educational attainment and school improvement, said: "I’d like to thank Katy-Anne for her hard work at Mayesbrook Park School. 

"This is a great accolade for her, the school and Barking and Dagenham.

"I am very proud of her success."

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