A teacher who works at a Blackburn school was named Digital Innovator of the Year at the Pearson National Teaching Awards.

Zaitoon Bukhari picked up the silver award and was presented the honour in front of staff and pupils at Witton Park Academy.

Zaitoon is director of digital learning and works across four schools that are part of the Achievement through Collaboration (AtC) Trust. It was the first time anyone from the trust had won a Pearson Teaching Award.

Three Witton Park Academy teachers Ms Colling (Achieve Award), Ms Credie (Belong Award) and Ms Medcalfe (Collaborate Award) were also honoured at the event for their dedication and commitment to the school.

Councillor Brian Taylor, the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen was at the event on Wednesday.

Zaitoon said she was proud to be named a recipient ahead of hundreds of teachers across the country.

She said: “Winning the Silver Award is a huge privilege. It is more unique because where I am from and the community I come from.

“For an Asian female to be able to the Digital Innovator of the Year for the whole country is a real accomplishment. I hope this award inspires other young females to go into the tech world and to continue to broaden their horizons.”

Zaitoon heads the digital provisions at the trust and how digital provisions are used in teaching and learning for all the pupils, including those at Witton Park Academy.

Headteacher Andrew Burton said: “Teachers are one of our greatest assets in society and seeing a teacher recognised for their efforts recognises us all. 

“Zaitoon has had a transformational role in bringing technology into education at Witton, across the trust and beyond. It is a well-deserved award.”

(Image: Nq) Headteacher Mr Burton with Ms Medcalfe, Ms Colling and Ms Colling

Witton Park Academy is part of the ATC Multi-Academy Trust which was formed in 2016.

Jane Chambers is CEO of the trust. She said: “Being part of the multi-academy trust means we are stronger together.

“I am delighted with the skills and experiences teachers bring to the Trust which we can harness, so that as many children and teachers can be the best as they can possibly be.”

The announcement came as students and schools marked ‘National Thank a Teacher Day’.

The Trust said: “We are proud of Zaitoon’s effort and determination to make every student's learning experience something special

“Thank you for your exceptional dedication to our students, our staff and our schools.”