Amazing coincidence sees mother and daughter win top education prize 14 years apart

Amazing coincidence sees mother and daughter win top education prize 14 years apart

When Amanda Spavin from Forton near Lancaster graduated with first class honours she also won a prestigious award which recognised her achievement as an early years’ teacher.

14 years on, her daughter Sophie has just won the same prize for achieving the same high level results as her mum.

The amazing coincidence was only discovered during the graduation ceremonies held at Carlisle Cathedral.

“We were absolutely delighted when we heard the news,” Kathryn Fox, director of school and business engagement, said. “Sophie’s award recognises the student with the highest academic achievement across the Institute for Education.”

Amanda Spavin from Forton is now a community project officer with Lancashire County Council. When she was 39 she graduated in early years teaching from the Ambleside campus of what was St Martin’s College, now part of the University of Cumbria. The JH Sutton award she won was for the highest achievement across all campuses; the award is now known as the undergraduate initial teacher education highest academic achievement prize.

“I couldn’t afford to come to my own graduation so it was so emotional to see Sophie graduate and receive the same recognition I did,” Amanda said. “I remember it was an amazing course and really prepared for me for my role as an early years’ teacher.”

For Sophie, following in her mums’ footsteps was always a possibility.

“I’ve always wanted to be teacher which came from spending time in her classroom to helping her set up for lessons and love working with young children,” Sophie said. “I’ve had such supportive tutors and it’s been nice to be part of a small course. The award came out of the blue and we’d no idea it was the same as my mum won when she studied!”