NAME – Sharon Ogden

AGE - 51

SCHOOL- Peel Park Primary School

BASED - Alice Street, Accrington


SCHOOL MISSION/VISION – High expectations, every child, no excuses

FOR the past 17 years Teaching Assistant Sharon Ogden has been helping youngsters at Peel Park, Accrington.

Like hundreds of other TAs across East Lancashire she provides support to our area’s schoolchildren on a daily basis - but Sharon has always gone one step further.

She’s set up sporting groups; organised structured activity during breaks EVERY day and organised swimming lessons for youngsters with special needs.

Head teacher Alison Padgett nominated her, saying: “Sharon is an amazing TA who has worked tirelessly for the pupils at Peel Park for years. Sharon's work ethic is second to none. When everyone else is leaving school, Sharon is setting up more activities for children to get involved with.

"As well as providing excellent support in class, Sharon runs several extra-curricular activities. She organizes gymnastics clubs in the mornings, interclass competitions at lunchtimes and various sporting clubs after school, including netball, football and rugby.

"Once children have been once, they are always eager to come again thanks to Sharon's determination to make learning fun.

"Sharon is always looking for events for the children to take part in and is forever taking children to different tournaments and competitions; and not just locally sometimes they go as far as Blackpool to compete.”

Sharon, who started helping out at the school when her youngsters (now adults) went there, says she was flabbergasted to be nominated and then win the award.

“I would not be getting this award if it was not for the children and the people I work with. My job is an absolute dream,” she said.

Over the years she has also been a real champion of children with special educational needs and has organised for them to take part in Boccia and wheelchair football competitions. She has recently organised swimming lessons for them.

“Many have Cerebral Palsy so it’s one-to-one in the water. The support staff are incredible and it’s like my guilty pleasure – we are paid to do this! It’s unbelievable, these children are just so incredible,” she said.

“Whenever anybody tells her she is working too hard she always replies, ‘Well, it's for the children’. Who could ask for a better teaching assistant than that? Sharon is our star,” said head teacher Alison.