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Thanks for doing a brilliant job

Mary Tattersfield has been a special needs assistant at Brookhurst primary school in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, for the past six years.

Mary's one-to-one job has followed the primary school career of Holly Swatton, who this term moves up to secondary school. Holly has spina bifida and hydrocephalus and is in a wheelchair all the time - apart from her weekly swimming lessons.

Class teacher Anna Schmidt, who taught Holly in Year 1, nominated Mary for our flowers, champagne and chocolates, saying that every teacher who's been lucky enough to have her helping in their class has enjoyed her "dedication, humour and care". They also love Mary's chocolate truffles and muffins - "yet another of her specialities!"

Mary, whose two boys went to Brookhurst, has many talents and spends half her working week as a nurse at Warwick Hospital. (Another carer, Estelle Horton, has supported Holly for the rest of the week.) Mary is the school's first-aider, and in June accompanied Year 6 on their residential week to York. She's also an expert seamstress and made colourful costumes for the Year 6 production of Twelfth Night. "Mary is exceptionally helpful and is totally immersed in school life," says Angela Stanton, headteacher of this 380-pupil primary. "She thinks her way round a problem and always comes up with a solution. If you need a pair of curtains, she's the first to make them." When Year 6 decided they really needed a boat for their Twelfth Night set, guess who suggested they try the local boat club and got one delivered?

This term, Mary's job description changes to "classroom clerk" - a new post to take account of changes to teachers' workload. As well as organising school trips and visits, Mary will be in charge of wall displays and keeping a photographic record of school life - she's a dab hand with the digital camera.

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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