A veteran school governor has been recognised for 30 years of dedicated service at this year's Teaching Awards ceremony.
Penny Witham, who has been the chair of governors at Brentfield Primary School in Stonebridge for 10 years, and a governor there for 30, was presented with a distinction in the Department for Children, Schools and Families' (DCSF) Award for Governor of the Year.
Accompanied by her two daughters and grandchildren, Mrs Witham was cheered on by a 400-strong audience after being nominated for the award by Brentfield head teacher Paola Riddle.
Mrs Witham said: "I was delighted and surprised to be nominated, it's very flattering.
"I think they were hoping to keep it a secret but the judging panel had to visit the school to talk to everyone so I found out."
The national awards, which are now in their 10th year,celebrate teaching and learning and reward the dedication of unsung heroes who transform young people's lives.
Thirteen regional ceremonies have been held across the country,culminating with last week's final in London.
There were winners in 10 categories, including outstanding new teacher,primary and secondary head teacher of the year, special needs teacher of the year and lifetime achievement.
The Teaching Awards is open to every educational establishment in England, Wales and Northern Ireland teaching pupils between the ages of three and 18.
The closing date for 2009 nominations is March 1 2009. For more details log on to www.teachingawards.com