Two teachers at a Blackburn school have been short-listed for the prestigious Education Today Awards.

Pleckgate High School eco-club lead Jade Banks has reached the final seven of the community champion category while English teacher Charlotte Bland is in the final four for the New Teacher of the Year award.  

The ceremony will take place in London in December. 

Geography teacher Mrs Banks said: "I was so honoured to find out I had been nominated by my colleagues for the award.

"It was a complete surprise! I love working with our pupils in the eco club and seeing their passion for the environment and improving their local area grow.

"It means so much to see that passion recognised.” 

Mrs Banks has taught at Pleckgate for seven years and is passionate about geography, especially looking at the importance of sustainability and recycling.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Mrs Banks formed Pleckgate’s Eco Club in 2019 and the group has grown in number and the prestige. 

She has successfully steered the group members to be part of many new initiatives, gained the Eco Schools Green flag (with Merit in 2023) for two consecutive years and taken visits and attended conferences with eco club members. 

Under Mrs Banks, Pleckgate pupils have planted saplings from the Woodland Trust on school grounds, built bug houses and bird boxes, distributed recycling litter bins in all classrooms and common areas, organised and led litter picks in Blackburn and arranged outside agencies to work with cohorts of pupils in year 9 about river pollution as well as organising planned residential trips in partnership with the Yorkshire Dales National Park and John Muir Trust. 

Lancashire Telegraph:

Charlotte Bland joined Pleckgate in September 2022 as an early career teacher.  

On her award application Ms Bland was described as a "dynamic and ambitious teacher, her creativity is conveyed through her love of drama and she will often encourage pupils to participate by getting involved in role play activities, drama club and performance poetry".

Charlotte said: “I am really excited to be nominated and completely surprised. I feel lucky to have such a supportive department. This is my first job and I am so proud. 

“I love amateur dramatics and the school have been brilliant in letting me attend training led by the Royal Shakespeare Company and that was amazing. I want to make Shakespeare accessible as it can be in the classroom.

"I am also leading the school production of Oliver.”