The Daily Echo Education Awards could not have happened without the generous sponsorship of Hampshire based IT experts Silver Lining.

Warren Naude, Sales and Marketing Director said: "Being able to support the inaugural Daily Echo Education Awards was a real privilege for us, as Silver Lining are strong advocates for schools in the area, having worked closely with a number of them and being able to see first-hand how hard our teachers work on a daily basis.

"At Silver Lining, we also run a number of apprenticeship and trainee schemes, so we are some of the first to benefit from the effect that a valuable education gives to school leavers, and the benefit it also gives to employers. Educational staff can often be taken for granted, so being able to see them being given the recognition they deserve was an honour.

"We thoroughly enjoyed this year’s event and are already looking forward to supporting next year’s, which I’m sure will be even bigger and better than this one."

And speaking at the event, Hampshire County Council's education chief Councillor Peter Edgar - who himself was a teacher for more than twenty years - said the sponsorship was "appropriate" because of the "massive importance" of IT for young people today.