JENNY Byrne, the deputy headteacher nominated for the regional finals of the Teacher of the Year award, came in the top four of her category at the ceremony last week.

Mrs Byrne, of South Farnborough Junior School, was put forward for Primary School Teacher of the Year by pupil Jenny Briant, 11.

Jenny said: "I saw the awards in a newspaper, so I went on to the website and nominated Mrs Byrne. She's a brilliant teacher. She is funny, always has time for her pupils, and is not just a teacher, but a friend."

Mrs Byrne underwent a rigorous selection process to reach the regional finals.

She was joined by her husband Olly, headteacher Lynne Smith and colleague Bunty Leversach at the Winchester Guildhall.

Mrs Smith said: "We are totally delighted. It is very well deserved. Jenny is an excellent teacher and gives so much of her time to the school."

Mrs Byrne was presented with a certificate by Stephen Twigg, the under secretary of state for education. She said: "I was really chuffed that Jenny nominated me. It's a real honour to receive such an award."