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Teacher proves she's first class

PUBLISHED: 12:09 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:52 25 August 2010

Leanne

Leanne

A TEACHER who helps vulnerable children reach their full potential has been honoured at a ceremony to mark the capital s top teaching talent.

A TEACHER who helps vulnerable children reach their full potential has been honoured at a ceremony to mark the capital's top teaching talent.

Maggie Richards, deputy head teacher at Thomas Tallis School, Blackheath, won The Ted Wragg Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2009 Teaching Awards at central Hall, Westminster on Tuesday.

Mrs Richards was one of only 12 winners across London honoured at the event hosted by BBC's Riz Lateef in front of an audience of 400 people.

She was nominated by former sixth-form pupil Leanne Thompson, who graduated last summer.

Mrs Richards has taught at Thomas Tallis, Kidbrooke Road, for 31 years and was praised by head teacher Rob Thomas.

He said: "Leanne had experienced a pretty tough life in social care.

"She could easily have failed but Maggie supported her and she passed last summer with flying colours.

"she works exceptionally hard for Pupils that are disadvantaged, to see that they are looked after and can ultimately achieve their potential.

"She has a certain way with people, they see her as a role model and she sets a positive example. She has a sense of when things aren't working effectively and can change a situation for the better.

"Maggie has been here over 30 years, a lot of the parents know her and they all speak positively of her."

Caroline Evans, chief executive of the Teaching Awards said: "I am delighted to congratulate all our award-winners who deserve every bit of praise and applause.

"They are real heroes among their colleagues, pupils and parents and now the wider world knows what a difference they make."

Presenters at the event included actress Gwyneth Powell who played Mrs McClusky in Grange Hill, comedian Arthur Smith and garden designer Diarmuid Gavin.

The Teaching Awards were founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam CBE, producer of films The Killing Fields and Chariots of Fire.

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