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A Grimsby assistant head teacher who continued to make sure the needs of his school’s most vulnerable pupils were met during lockdown has been awarded for his commitment to the education sector by the UK’s largest family-run recruitment company.

Zane Powles, Assistant Head Teacher at Western Primary School, in Grimsby, has been awarded runner-up in the Reed Improving Lives Award for Education.

The accolade is part of a national competition set up by Reed Specialist Recruitment to recognise dedicated individuals in the public services sector who are making a real difference to the lives of others through their work, and who have responded heroically to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zane was selected due to his commitment to the school and dedication to its pupils during lockdown. This commitment saw him proactively deliver up to 76 free school meals a day to the homes of the pupils who were unable to receive them while the school has been closed - walking up to five miles a day to do so.

During this time of crisis, Zane’s work has provided a safety net for a number of children and has helped to boost their morale by seeing a familiar face, while also being available for parents asking for advice on a range of topics.

In addition to delivering the school meals, Zane has delivered learning packs to pupils who may not have the right equipment or resources at home. Due to the length of the lockdown, this initiative prevented vulnerable pupils from missing out on vital parts of their education.

Zane’s efforts have not only been recognised by the Reed Improving Lives Award for Education, but also in parliament, with the school being mentioned for the additional support it was offering pupils. In addition, Zane himself received a call from the Department for Education to recognise his efforts.

Zane commented: “It’s an absolute honour to be announced as a runner-up for the Improving Lives Award and be recognised by my peers for the work I’ve carried out at Western Primary School.

“The past few months have been extremely difficult for the children, and I wanted to do something where we supported those who were struggling at home during lockdown. To see the difference it has made to their lives has been fantastic.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to those my employer Kim Leach, who nominated me for this award, as well as those who have supported me in my role. This is something I’m extremely passionate about, so to receive this recognition is hugely rewarding.”

Gavin Beart, Divisional Managing Director of Reed Education, added: “We’re delighted to announce Zane as the runner-up for the Improving Lives Award for Education. His work at Western Primary School has helped a number of pupils who have faced difficulties or struggled to cope with the changes to everyday to life in recent months.

“The awards were established to recognise individuals who go above and beyond to support others, and Zane embodies just that. Everyone at Reed Specialist Recruitment would like to say congratulations to Zane!”