Carol Cooper

17th October 2003 at 01:00
Carol Cooper is a learning support assistant at St Laurence's RC primary school in Cambridge.

Carol supports two boys in Year 5 but she also "runs ALS and ELS and helps with IEPs". Friday magazine is impressed, though not with the acronyms, which class teacher Nick Kerin willingly translated: literacy support and education plans are her forte. Basically, Carol gives masses of personal attention to lots of children, especially those with special needs, and she's always cheerful. "She's everything you could wish for in an LSA and much more," says Nick, who nominated Carole for our flowers, champagne and chocolates. He says her manner and commitment stand out. "She cares passionately about 'her' children and moves heaven and earth to make sure their school experience is happy and effective."

She stays late to tidy up and talk to parents, even accompanying them to special needs conferences at weekends. "She's like a mother hen and can't help but take any struggling children under her wing."

Carol suffers from asthma and uses her personal experience to raise awareness of the condition. Even when she had a car crash and suffered whiplash, she was back in school and, according to Nick, "turned that into a learning experience". She's an active member of the Salvation Army and on special days wears a canary yellow track suit covered with bells.

Perhaps most important, she is aware of Nick Kerin's workload, making his life easier by "whisking away" filing and photocopying. She gets on his case and tells him off on Monday mornings if he's been working all weekend.

Is there an unsung hero in your school? Tell Sarah Bayliss, TES Friday editor, about him or her at the address below. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer

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