Tes Awards: Classroom support assistant of the year

Becky Marie Williams has worked tirelessly to help pupils feel secure in themselves at Solihull AP

Catherine Lough

Becky Marie Williams

Becky Marie Williams attended an alternative provision (AP) setting as a teenager and has worked tirelessly over the past year as a classroom assistant at Solihull AP.

Her own experience has been a real strength in empathising with students, and she has kept in touch with Year 9, and their parents and carers, through food drops and home visits, to maintain incredibly positive relationships with them during the lockdowns.

Through one-to-one work, corridor chats and mentoring, she has helped students to feel secure in themselves, and the individuals and groups she has supported have flourished as a result of her input. During this year, she also earned a promotion for her work.

Williams has worked closely with teachers, attending TeachMeets and best-practice sessions as well as individual planning and prep meetings, modelling for newer teaching assistants the important partnership between classroom assistants and teachers.

She also set up individual parent and carer meetings for some of the key students she has supported, and has always taken the time to make calls and establish relationships with Year 9 families from the word go.

She volunteered for and completed the AP’s full restorative justice practitioner training and has led training for staff. Students have been highly complimentary about her work, while colleagues admire and respect her. The excellent relationships she has developed with students and the team is testimony to her efforts.

Judge Rob Webster said: “Having attended an AP as a teenager, Becky is an authentic role model for the young people at Solihull AP. She is clearly an inspiration to staff as well as students. The support she provided to students and families during lockdown exemplifies the valuable, though often hidden, contribution teaching assistants have made during pandemic.”

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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