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Major award for Derry secondary school - but they are not finished yet

St Cecilia's College honoured for the work it does with its students

Major award for Derry school - but they are not finished yet

Staff and students at St Cecilia's College receive their award.

A Derry school is going for gold in a prestigious award for secondary schools.

Shortlisted from thousands of nominations, St. Cecilia's College is one of just 76 silver award winners in the Award for Making a Difference - Secondary School of the Year for its outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children it works with every day.

The all-girls school has been recognised for its aim of ensuring that its students are provided with opportunities to achieve qualifications, employability skills, cross-community experiences that break a cycle of deprivation.

St. Cecilia's is now in the running for one of just 14 gold awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC.

The awards ceremony is recognised as a 'great opportunity' to celebrate the exceptional school staff who have worked wonders during an incredibly challenging time for educators across the country.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with.

This year marks its 22nd year of celebrating, award-winning teachers, teaching assistants, headteachers and lecturers across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Lorraine Langham, chief executive of Future First, the education charity sponsoring this award, paid tribute to the Derry school.

She said: “Making a difference is what our work at Future First is all about. That's why we sponsored the Making the Difference Award.

"St Cecilia's College has shown just what can be done and our heartfelt congratulations go to all concerned.

“A young person’s start in life should not limit their future and through our alumni programmes with schools, students can be motivated and inspired to make the difference themselves and transform their own lives."

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan congratulated the school.

She said: “I would like to congratulate the principal Mrs Mulhern, staff, pupils and Board of Governors at St Cecilia’s on this achievement. The school can now be considered for a Gold Teaching award in the category and I wish them the best of luck in their endeavours. 

“This is a great achievement for the school, the pupils and the local community."

Ms Mullan concluded: The success in the ‘making a difference’ category highlights the sterling work being carried out by staff to improve the lives of children in various positive ways.” 

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