IT ALL starts with an inspirational teacher – and lucky pupils at two Hampshire schools have them in their midst.

Staff at New Forest Academy and Hordle Primary School have won prestigious awards given to only a few teachers across the country.

Head of science at New Forest Academy Sharon Crowe won a Silver award for Teacher of The Year.

Sharon was nominated by principal Karen Godsall who said she has energy, enthusiasm and commitment to professional learning which is “second to none.

She said: "She is a very personable colleague who believes wholeheartedly in the power of education to transform the lives of young people.”

Besides her everyday commitment, for the last four years Sharon has encouraged pupils to take part in an international science and technology competition – with this year’s team going to Brussels to present a concept in the European Parliament.

At Hordle Church of England Primary School, it was the whole team of 50 staff who were selected from thousands of others to win a Silver Outstanding School Team of the Year award.

The team will join others at the UK Teaching Awards final in October, where ten winners will receive a Gold Plato Award.

The awards for these ‘local heroes of education’ aim to recognise the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach.

President of Pearson UK Rob Bristow said: “It’s an honour for us to support the Teaching Awards each year.

"Research shows that great teaching has the biggest impact on a child’s education so it’s vital for us to recognise and celebrate inspirational teachers for their commitment to teaching and learning and improving the life chances of the next generation.

“All those receiving a silver trophy today should feel extremely proud of their achievement.”