Horndean teacher gets nod for national award for anti-bullying efforts

Teacher Andrea Marr with pupil Amelia Spry 
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161298-1)
Teacher Andrea Marr with pupil Amelia Spry Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161298-1)
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A TEACHER devoted to eradicating bullying has been thanked with a nomination for a national award.

Andrea Marr, a teacher of religious studies at Horndean Technology College, has upheld a zero-tolerance policy as the school’s anti-bullying co-ordinator.

She was one of 113 school employees nominated by their pupils for the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s inaugural Power for Good Awards.

Mrs Marr, who has taught at the school for 18 years, said: ‘I was quite overwhelmed when I found out about the award, especially because it came from students.

‘We have been developing our anti-bullying strategy over a number of years. The main thing that we try and do is raise awareness as much as possible so pupils understand that bullying is not acceptable in any way.’

With Mrs Marr’s help, the Barton Cross school makes sure plenty of inclusive and welcoming messages are put out in assemblies and tutorials.

She was put forward for the award by pupil Amelia Spry, who said that she ‘truly deserved the nomination’.

Amelia, 13, said: ‘I nominated Mrs Marr because she is extremely supportive and dedicated to promoting anti-bullying.

‘She works very hard to create an environment where students can express their individuality and diversity.

‘Mrs Marr’s enthusiasm is infectious and she inspires every student to be kind to one another.’

Mrs Marr’s efforts have resulted in a number of accolades for the school.

These include a bronze award from LGBT charity Stonewall, in recognition of tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Although she was pipped at the post for the award, Andrea is now intent on securing a silver award from Stonewall for the school.

She said: ‘We have a comprehensive anti-bullying policy which we review regularly. We want to make sure that students know that every single member of staff will support them and listen to them, and give them the confidence to approach us.’

Julie Summerfield, headteacher at Horndean Technology College, added: ‘We were thrilled that Mrs Marr was nominated and more importantly that students recognise that the staff are there to support them and help them through their education.’