A HEADTEACHERS’ leader said he hoped the Lancashire Telegraph Schools Awards would place a spotlight on the ‘unrelenting pressure’ teachers face.

Les Turner, from the National Association of Headteachers in Lancashire, said he was also hopeful the awards would raise morale in the profession.

He said: “The myth that teachers have an easy life still persists and I hope the awards will show how hard people in schools work.

“One week as a headteacher I had four governor sub-committees and overall I worked 96 hours.

“But it isn’t just leaders and headteachers — teachers at all levels face an unrelenting pressure.

“It’s the whole school community who work hard. Teachers and support staff get paid, but unpaid governors work incredibly hard just out of concern for their community.

“I think these awards will raise morale and I think people will be surprised how much their local schools achieve.

“Teaching is a political football and in 39 years of teaching I experienced dozens of education secretaries.

“They all have different ideas and their own agenda, and teachers get the fall-out.

”What’s really inspiring is that teachers never let this stop them putting the children first.”

Dozens of entries have poured in since the awards were launched last month, nominating schools, teachers and pupils across East Lancashire.

There are now just two more days left to enter and judges are keen to hear from headteachers who can nominate their own schools, or parents and governors who want to single out a school, pupil or head for praise.

Simon Jones of Blackburn and Lancashire’s NUT said: “It’s nice to see support for teachers instead of the constant teacher bashing from Gove and the Department for Education.”