AN English teacher from a Witham academy has become one of only 56 people selected to receive a national teaching award.

Michael Grant, 23, is in his second year of teaching at New Rickstones Academy, in Conrad Road, Witham.

On Friday he was presented with a Pearson Silver Teaching Award in the New Teacher of the Year Category by Witham Town Mayor JoAnn Williams and headteacher of New Rickstones Damian Lee.

Teachers have to be nominated for the awards by those around them such as members of staff and parents.

Mr Grant, also a resident of Witham, said: “It is absolutely amazing to be recognised by my colleagues, the parents and the governors as well.

“It is really heart-warming that they took the time to do that and people wrote letters, emails and spoke to the judges as well.

“I think teaching is the best job in the world. There is no other job where you come in and are presented with a different problem every day.

“You get to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Mr Grant, also a year nine form tutor, will now join fellow Silver Award winners at the UK final of the Pearson Teaching Awards in London on October 22.

Up for grabs at the ceremony are 11 Gold Plato Awards, dubbed the 'Oscars for teachers'.

Speaking of Mr Grant’s work within the school, Mr Lee said: “Having been educated in Witham, Michael was keen to give something back to the town and when he applied for an NQT post at New Rickstones, I jumped at the chance of employing him - I wasn’t disappointed.

“He is hardworking and committed to his students and brings with him a boundless enthusiasm for his subject.

“We are all extremely proud of him – he thoroughly deserves this award.”

Award-winning children’s novelist Michael Morpurgo is the new chairman of the Pearson Awards.

He said: “Becoming an inspirational teacher is a serious, admirable commitment. And memorable, outstanding teaching should be celebrated by educators, pupils, parents and throughout society.

“With these awards we’re taking the time to recognise the remarkable, often unappreciated efforts of fantastic teachers up and down the country.”