COUNTY leaders, dignitaries, business heads and past winners came together for the official launch of the 2018 Worcestershire Education Awards.

The event, held at the Joel Richards Conference Suite at the University of Worcester Arena yesterday, saw dozens of sponsors and past winners celebrate the start of the awards that shine a spotlight on the hard work, passion and dedication of staff across the county’s schools, nurseries, colleges and in the wider community.

The awards, which are organised by the Worcester News in partnership with the University of Worcester, showcase those that inspire our children.

Chris Allen, headteacher at Bowbrook House School, in Peopleton, near Pershore, won last year’s Headteacher of the Year award while Bowbrook was named Secondary School of the Year.

He said: “These awards are a thank you and recognition of our work and make it worthwhile – I think sometimes we forgot the impact we make on our pupils and that we inspire them to achieve.”

Chairman of Worcestershire County Council, Anne Hingley, added: “I think it is massively inspirational that people are going to be recognised for their time and efforts, often over and above what is expected. I look forward to when the first award is given. Often when successful people talk about their inspiration it is a teacher that made the difference.”

The county council is sponsoring the Teacher/Lecturer of the Year Award.

Carl Arntzen, chief executive officer (CEO) at Worcester Bosch, which is sponsoring the awards for the first time this year, said: “I came to the awards ceremony last year and it was so inspirational we decided to get involved in 2018. As we are the biggest private employer in Worcester it is the least we can do.

“They (teachers) do fabulous work so recognising and saying ‘thank you’ to them is very important so we are delighted to be involved.”

Worcester Bosch is sponsoring the Community Involvement Award.

Vivian Cranton, headteacher of Hollymount Primary School in Holly Mount, Worcester, which won last year’s Primary School of the Year award, said: “For us it was wonderful – it was really a team award.

“In this area people are not used to winning awards and prizes – everyone was so proud.”

Head of school Emma Pritchard added: “People notice the banner on our website – so I think it has raised our profile, which is amazing.

“The children are really proud – we presented them the award in an assembly.”

Gary Woodman, chief executive officer (CEO) of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, which is sponsoring the College, or Post-18 Education & Training Provider of the Year award, said: “It is very worthwhile to celebrate all that goes on in the education sector so we are really pleased to support the awards.”

Paul Harding, of Discover History, which won the Community Involvement Award last year, said: “It was so nice just to be nominated to and win was great.”

David Flint, director of school engagement at the University of Worcester, said: “It is not just about teachers it is about support staff and all those other groups as well.

“They help support and make a difference to children’s lives. Without their support it can be difficult for children to see their potential future.”

Michael Purton, acting editor for the Worcester News, said: “Teachers and education workers are often unsung heroes but they can change lives – everybody remembers that teacher, head or teaching assistant who inspired them to pursue a dream. That’s why we’re proud to recognise the achievements of education workers through these awards.”

Debbie Mann, of Parallel Lines (Marking) Limited, which is sponsoring the awards for the first time this year, said: “We have been working with local schools for seven years now, and I am also involved in the Worcestershire Education Network.”

To view the categories and to nominate an organisation or group, go to