General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Teacher gets award for her special needs work


Irish News

A teacher from Northern Ireland who specialises in special needs received an award last night at a ceremony in London.

Elaine Loughran (35), of St Joseph’s in Antrim, was one of 12 teachers to pick up an accolade at the 2009 UK Teaching Awards at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

The judging panel praised her for her “exemplary” commitment to teaching and to the children in her care.

Speaking after receiving the award from the jazz musician Jamie Cullum, Ms Loughran said she was surprised and delighted to have won the award.

“I’m just over the moon really. We didn’t have a clue that I was going to win at all,” she said.

“Don’t get me wrong – teaching special needs can be difficult and demanding but it’s worth it all. I’m extremely passionate about my job.”

The awards event was hosted by the BBC’s Jeremy Vine and Christine Bleakley and was broadcast on BBC2 last night.

The 2,000-strong theatre audience heard that Ms Loughran was renowned for being able to reach the most withdrawn children with her innovative teaching methods.

She has found that music helps to motivate and inspire her pupils and that bringing a sense of humour into the classroom has helped improve concentration.

A colleague of Ms Loughran at St Joseph’s said the award was fully deserved because of her wish to continually push the boundaries in teaching.

“Elaine is one of the most creative and reflective teachers I have ever worked with,” she said.

“She always goes the extra mile to make lessons interesting and has great success with integrating children with behaviour problems.”


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