A SECONDARY school scooped the most awards at a ceremony celebrating teaching excellence.

The seventh annual Essex Teaching Awards, which took place in Chelmsford, saw Burnham’s Ormiston Rivers Academy come out as the big winners with two awards.

The performing arts team won the Team of the Year and Melissa Marable was presented with the Secondary Teacher of the Year award.

Principal Emma Baker said: “We are delighted Ormiston Rivers has been recognised for its exceptional teaching and teamwork, as well as for the efforts to support vulnerable students.

“The awards have confirmed what we already knew – that we have some of the most dedicated and hardworking teachers in the country. I’d like to extend a massive congratulations to all involved.”

Maldon’s Plume Academy principal Carl Wakefield was highly commended in the secondary headteacher category.

He said: “I was genuinely humbled just to receive a nomination, let alone an award at this year’s Essex Teaching Awards.

“However, I accepted this on behalf of the Plume family as the bottom line is an organisation is about a team of people working in collaboration and that’s what we have at our amazing academy.

“My role is of course more in the spotlight than all others, but across both of our campuses we have staff who are rarely seen but who keep the academy spotless, ensure our students and staff are very well catered for, committed staff who perhaps do twice as many hours as they are paid for, fantastic students and a hugely supportive group of parents and carers who are all a pleasure to work alongside.

“Therefore, to me, this award was much more about them and what they do than one individual.

“I continue to be immensely proud of them all.”

County Hall education boss Ray Gooding added: “I never cease to be moved by the nominations we receive and would like to congratulate everyone who won an award or who was highly commended this year.

“We have so many special people working in education across the county and I hope they feel proud of the positive impact they make every day.”