This column has recognised 340 heroes in its time. From caretakers to acting heads and from school governors to volunteer grannies, they've all been national treasures who make a huge difference to children and their schools. Honouring them was an essential part of the philosophy of Friday magazine when it launched in January 1998. Morale in the nation's staffrooms was low; there was pressure to perform but not much praise. We wanted to celebrate good practice, to honour staff doing a brilliant job, and to involve readers who would make the nominations. Pleasure, excitement and even tears were common in the many "hero" conversations I've had.
Flowers (courtesy of Marks Spencer), champagne and chocolates were a gesture but in school assemblies or staff briefings every week they represented a community saying thank you in public to an unsung hero.
This is the final edition of Friday magazine. In the autumn the countdown begins to the TES centenary with a new magazine and a redesigned newspaper.
My heroes are Friday's team: Jill Craven, deputy editor; Simon Terry, chief sub-editor; Sarah Boyall, deputy chief sub-editor; Geraldine Brennan, TES literary editor; Lawrence Bogle, designer; Joe Vel, picture editor; and Sarah Jenkins, Friday's editorial assistant; all our teacher writers and freelance contributors. Thanks - you've been brilliant.
Sarah Bayliss, editor, Friday magazine