Teacher Ben Johnson has become one of this year's recipients of the Sinnott Fellowship, it has emerged.
The member of school staff
, who is director of sport and assistant headteacher at Bishop Barrington School Sports with Mathematics College in Bishop Auckland, is one of just 15 people in teaching jobs
to gain this award, reports the Northern Echo.
It was created in honour of Steve Sinnott, who was the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers but died suddenly last year aged just 56.
When he first announced the fellowship, schools secretary Ed Balls noted that it is about "transforming the life chances of children and young people and unlocking their talent".
The recipients of the fellowship - all of whom work in schools in disadvantaged areas - will dedicate two days each week to helping to form links between pupils and external organisations both in the UK and abroad.
Mr Johnson told the paper: "I am passionate about community use of schools and also the positive values achieved by pupils engaging within the community, both locally and internationally."