A TEACHING expert says the Lancashire Telegraph’s Schools Awards are recognition that schools work harder than ever before.

Retired headteacher Alasdair Coates, who now coaches East Lancashire schools as a consultant, says more work is done in the modern classroom.

The former St Christopher's High School, Accrington, headteacher retired after gaining the school record GCSE results, an outstanding Ofsted report and saw it named as one of the top 30 schools in the country in a Sunday Times survey.

He said he was delighted to hear that the Lancashire Telegraph would be recognising outstanding practice in schools, inspirational teachers and high-achieving pupils.

He said both teachers and pupils work harder today than they did when he began at the Accrington school 22 years ago.

He said: “I think anything that can encourage and celebrate the achivement of our young people should be supported.

“I applaud the Lancashire Telegraph for taking the time to do this very important task of recognising just how hard our young people work.

“It is fashionable to bash young people and talk about how they don’t work hard. However the truth is that they work far harder than any pupils who have gone before. They really put the effort in.

“It’s fashionable to bash teachers too, but like the pupils they are more hard working than ever.

“When I started in my career, you would hear teachers talk about how the pupils didn’t want to learn. If pupils felt like that, the teacher thought it was their own fault.

“I never hear statements like that from teachers now.

“They take responsibility for creating an interest in learning and they work tirelessly.

“We have some incredible teachers in this area who should be recognised.”

To find out more about our schools awards and how to enter visit www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/schools_awards