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Today is National Thank a Teacher Day and, along with thousands of children across the country, I want to celebrate teachers for all the amazing work they do every single day.

In the Big Ask, children told us they like school and they clearly love their teachers. After a gruelling couple of years of online learning, children in England –especially those who might be struggling at home – care passionately about being able to go to school again. Teachers and schools worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, adapting lesson plans for online learning and developing new ways to protect children from the host of challenges they faced during the lockdowns – online bullying, anxiety, loneliness, to name a few. We have always known that teachers are incredible but this year, especially, I want you to have the recognition and thanks you truly deserve.

Good teachers stay with you throughout your life. Mr Fitzpatrick, my philosophy teacher in sixth form, opened up the world to me. It was because of him that I went on to study philosophy at university, and I was the first person to go to university in my family. Walking out of my slightly chaotic teenage life and into his calm classroom, I really felt the power of education. When I became a teacher, I held him as my standard, I wanted to teach as well as him, and to have the same impact.

Throughout my 30 years in education, I have seen my fair share of extraordinary teachers, but we need more of you! In the Big Ask, many children told us they wanted to be teachers when they grow up. We need more passionate, resilient, remarkable teachers that can inspire and encourage the next generation to dream big and achieve.

We don’t say ‘well done’ enough to teachers for all the exceptional work they have done and continue to do. So, thank you for all you do to keep our children safe and help them realise their potential!

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