Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham teacher who beat stammer honoured with award

Abed Ahmed at the awards between comedian Harry Hill and TES editor Ann Mroz Image copyright TES Schools Awards
Image caption Abed Ahmed - seen with comic Harry Hill - was recognised by education magazine TES

A teacher who overcame a stammer and now supports students at the school he once attended has been recognised as a teacher of the year.

Abed Ahmed started teaching three years ago after a number of rejections.

He now teaches at Washwood Heath Academy, in Birmingham, where he runs support groups for pupils who stammer.

Mr Ahmed, who shares his experiences using the Twitter handle @stammer_teacher, said he was "shocked" to be recognised.

The maths teacher began to stammer when he was four and said he had struggled at school due to lack of support.

Image copyright BBC Three
Image caption Mr Ahmed now teaches at the school he used to attend and helps students with stammers

He told BBC Three: "There were so many times I refused to put my hand up or take part in lessons because I was too scared about what people would say about my stammer.

"In fact there were a lot of people that did bully me."

Stammering

It is estimated 5% of children and 1% of adults are affected by stammering, with men being about four times more likely to stammer than women.

According to the NHS, it is not possible to say for sure what causes someone to develop a stammer, but genes and development could play a role.

The British Stammering Association has support and information for people with a stammer.

Aged 19, he started working with a speech and language therapist to help develop his confidence and now helps his own students.

"The main reason I made this school group is so students don't have to go through the same things I went through," he said.

He was given the award by TES Schools Awards on Friday where judges described him as "a phenomenal guy" and "a role model to young people".

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