Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has awarded year 12 pupil Declan Pang from North Shields, Tyneside, with the Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize, a scheme set up in 2012 to recognise 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 and 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 - the first headteacher to hold the post - in order to recognise the achievements of young people with active interests in history, politics and public life in the North East.
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.
Nicky Morgan will present Declan with the award at a ceremony at University College London in February. The Education Secretary has invited him to visit London to experience working in the Department for Education to give him an insight into working in public life.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan congratulated him on his “selfless contribution” to his school and local community. She said:
It was difficult for the panel of judges to choose a winner as there were many excellent nominees. What makes you stand out is your excellent academic success and your selfless contribution to your school and to the local community. Having read your nomination, I can see why you are this year’s winner. You can be justifiably proud of your achievements.
Getting good grades is vital - but it is equally important that our students leave school with the character, skills and confidence needed to thrive in modern Britain. You have demonstrated that it is possible to reach academic excellence, while at the same time developing extracurricular skills and putting them to good use to benefit others.
I look forward to congratulating you in person on winning this prestigious prize.
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.
Last year’s prize went to La’ali Imam-Gutierrez of Heaton Manor School in Newcastle, who undertook her work experience placement in London in July.
Notes to editors
The runners up include:
||Wellfield Community School, Wingate, County Durham
||Ponteland High School, Northumberland
||St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy, Sunderland
||Conyers School, Yarm, Stockton on Tees
||Carmel College, Darlington
||St Mary’s Catholic School, Longbenton, Newcastle
||Carmel College, Darlington
Find out more about the Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize and the 2013 to 2014 winner.