Peterborough teacher wins 'Outstanding New Teacher of the Year' award

A Peterborough woman has scooped a national teacher award in her first year at Jack Hunt School.

By Ben Jones
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 5:23 pm
Jo Young with her award.
Jo Young with her award.

Jo Young is a unique ‘late career-changer’ who decided to become an educator at 40 after nearly two decades working in archology and digital learning. The charity, Now Teach, helped her make the switch.

The Bronze prize was given by Pearson’s National Teaching Awards, sponsored by the UK Department for Education.

Jo was nominated by her mentor Vickie Bracken, Head of Department at Jack Hunt.

She says: “I got quite emotional when she (Vickie) told me about this. I met her at my interview last summer and she immediately became my mentor.

"She’s incredibly supportive and so brilliant at her job, she inspires me. I felt very honoured, especially when she gave me a card with all the reasons listed inside - it meant a huge amount to me, especially as I look up to her as an incredible teacher and role-model.

“When I first spoke to Now Teach about the possibility of becoming a teacher as a career changer, I felt very apprehensive about my suitability and whether I had left it too late to retrain.

"Their support and encouragement and expert guidance is a big part of why I now feel confident in the classroom. I can't believe how lucky I am to be where I am now.”

Now Teach is a charity helping late-stage career changers in England retrain as teachers. This approach is funded by the DfE and has been credited with better recruitment and retention rates than the national average – especially to STEM subjects.

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