Press release

Education Secretary honours straight A* pupil from North East

Nicky Morgan presents award to the winner of the prestigious Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize at London ceremony.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Nicky Morgan and award

A pupil who gained 13 A*s at GCSE and raises money for charity in his spare time has been praised by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan as she awarded him the prestigious Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize at a ceremony in London.

At the ceremony hosted by University College London, the Education Secretary awarded year 12 pupil Declan Pang from North Shields, Tyneside, with the prize, which recognises outstanding academic and civic achievements of young people in the North East of England.

Declan, who studies maths, chemistry, biology and music A levels at St Thomas More Roman Catholic Academy in North Shields, was chosen by a panel of judges for the award for his range of achievements in and out of school.

These include:

  • achieving 13 A* grades in his GCSEs
  • being awarded the Gold UK Intermediate Mathematical Challenge Award and grade 8 distinction in piano
  • raising money for local charities through Vermont Big Band, a local voluntary organisation
  • mentoring young swimmers as a member of Tynemouth Amateur Swimming Club
  • visiting local primary schools to encourage pupils to take up sports

The scheme was set up in 2012 in memory of former Education Secretary Lord Glenamara who was raised in the village of Warcop, east Cumbria, in order to recognise the achievements of young people with active interests in history, politics and public life in the North East.

Reflecting on the importance of the award, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said at the ceremony:

This award not only champions high standards in education, but also encourages activities that build character - essential qualities that help prepare our children for life in modern Britain.

This is the spirit in which we are reforming our schools system and so it is hugely inspiring to see how the contenders for this year’s prize are excelling.

Presenting the award to Declan, Nicky Morgan praised his “extraordinary record” and congratulated him on his academic and civic achievements.

She said:

Not only has Declan excelled academically, musically and in sport, but he has used his considerable talents to selflessly contribute to his school and local community.

She also congratulated the runners-up for their achievements and credited them as a tribute to Lord Glenamara’s “commitment to a better future for the next generation.

Declan Pang, the winner of the award, said:

It’s an absolute honour to be selected for such a prestigious award!

It’s a great feeling to be able to inspire young people, both within school and my local community. I could not have done it without the fantastic support of my teachers, family and friends.

I will try my best to use this prize to develop a lifelong interest in furthering the educational opportunities of children and young people.

The Education Secretary has invited Declan to visit London to experience working in the Department for Education to give him an insight into working in public life.

The runners up include Charlotte Burrin of Northumberland who is a weekly volunteer at a local assisted living centre; Isha Dubre of Durham who spent time volunteering at an orphanage in Malaysia and Jessica Belch of Stockton-on-Tees who campaigns on important issues as a member of Youth Parliament.

Notes to editors

The full list of runners up is as follows:

  • Jessica Belch, Conyers School, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees
  • Charlotte Burrin, Ponteland High School, Northumberland
  • Isha Dubre, the Durham Federation, County Durham
  • Robyn Errington-Coates, Carmel College, Darlington
  • Neil Kotre, St Mary’s Catholic School, Longbenton, Newcastle
  • Adam Presho, Wellfield Community School, Wingate, County Durham
  • Claudia Spoor, St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy, Sunderland
  • Emma Turner, Teesdale School, County Durham
  • Liam White, Carmel College, Darlington

Lord Glenmara: Lord Glenamara first served the North East as a headteacher in Blyth, Northumberland, before representing Newcastle upon Tyne in the House of Commons. He was later appointed Education Secretary under Harold Wilson before entering the House of Lords, of which he was the longest serving member at the time of his death in 2012.

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Published 6 February 2015