Amy Gudgeon, education recruitment manager at 3D Education Recruit in Battle, said: “In education the problem is the retention of staff. That’s why there is such a demand for supply teachers. Your first year is very high-pressured and extremely difficult. You have to learn lots of new things, you work long hours – and you might only be 21.
“We want to see these really innovative, dynamic new teachers having a positive experience and inspiring the next year of NQTs. They need recognition – it’s about nurture, and saying well done, you survived.”
Amy, who has worked at 3D since 2009, described how she had been inspired throughout her life by her Year 5 teacher at Sedlescombe Primary School, Kevin Tomasetti.
Mr Tomasetti now runs an educational consultancy with his colleague Keith Cheetham, working as executive head teachers with struggling schools in Sussex. The pair have led eight schools between them, including St Michael’s Primary School in Playden, Northiam Primary School and Hurst Green primary school.
Amy said: “He’s amazing – dynamic, innovative, a force to be reckoned with. I still remember some of the lessons he did – really creative, engaging lessons, and sign language lessons as well. For someone to remember a lesson 25 years down the line shows what a good teacher he is.”
Mr Tomasetti’s influence has lasted to this day as she turned to him and Mr Cheetham for advice when setting up 3D. She added: “He and Keith have been such valuable advisors to us about what makes a good supply teacher. They are so child-focused. You meet them and you are just inspired to do so much more good for the community.”
The Sussex Teacher of the Year Awards are open not only to teachers, but also to anyone else who works in a school. They are organised by children’s charity School Inspirational Services and supported by East Sussex County Council, Sussex Newspapers, Kreston Reeves, KCS, the Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel, and the Best Western York House Hotel.
To make a nomination, visit www.sussexteacheroftheyear.co.uk by noon on April 12.