Friday Hero

28th February 2003 at 00:00
Liz White is a teaching assistant and breakfast club organiser at Hamp junior school in Bridgwater, Somerset.

She's a key figure among the dozen or so teaching assistants who make up a "phenomenal" team, according to headteacher Anna Roxburgh, who arrived from Birmingham two years ago when the school had been put in special measures.

"It was like stepping into a warm bath. The staff were so positive and they couldn't do enough for me or the school."

Ms Roxburgh is "cautiously optimistic" that the school will come out of special measures this year. "The staff have been coming up with all sorts of solutions. Liz is typical. She'll come in and say, 'I've got an idea...'

And nine times out of 10 it's a good one."

Hamp junior school has 260 pupils aged seven to 11 and serves a needy district. "The children are wonderful even though they can be quite challenging," says Ms Roxburgh. "We work hard and play hard and it's an exciting place."

Last year Liz and a parent offered to run a breakfast club when funding came through. About 30 children attend regularly and all the staff are munching toast and sipping coffee from early on. "Liz makes it so welcoming."

Corinna Rundle is a class teacher who works alongside Liz White and nominated her for our flowers, champagne and chocolates. She says: "The children adore her because she always makes time to listen, and the staff love her because she is so proactive and brilliant. She deserves this award."

She does, and so do lots of people who do a brilliant job making life better in schools. Teachers, classrooms assistants, caretakers, governors and office staff - you've got gems among them. Do send us their names.

Send the name of your Friday Hero to Sarah Bayliss, Friday, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX, or email sarah.bayliss@tes.co.uk. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer

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