The finalists of the Worcestershire Education Awards 2022 were:

Headteacher of the Year

Worcester News:

Chris Allen - headmaster of Bowbrook House School

Chris Allen has been described as an outstanding and passionate headteacher, whose love for the school, striking charisma and

professionalism “always shine through”.

Those who nominated him said that he has established a school built on respected values and his care for his students and

staff during the lockdowns was said to be fantastic, keeping in touch with staff, pupils, and parents daily.

Mr Allen was referred to as a true leader who has earned respect from all age groups and still teaches, supports, and leads in all

areas of school life with kindness and consideration.

A parent mentioned how his influence filters throughout the school, to staff, parents and on to the pupils and he is always

praising. He deserves to have others recognise his work and be praised in return, they said.

He has been called one in a million, who deserves this award for all his hard work and consistency as headmaster.

Worcester News:

Kerry Postans - Burlish Park Primary School in Stourport

Kerry Postans, was said to have led her staff inspirationally since she began the job in 2017 and throughout the unprecedented times of the pandemic.

Those who nominated her, noted she had a keen focus on mental health, providing regular check-ups on staff and ensuring that students could always feel like they could talk to her if they needed to during the lockdowns.

Mrs Postans was described as being committed and passionate about doing the best for her pupils, staff and parents, ensuring she meets and greets children and parents at the gate every morning to start the children off on a positive day.

Nominations said that stakeholders are always fully informed about the progress towards the targets on the School Improvement Plan and regular content throughout the curriculum.

She has been said to go above and beyond for all staff, students, and parents, and is there to help no matter what.

Teacher of the Year

Worcester News:

Mark Abbott - St George's CE First School

Mark Abbot, a year 3 and 4 teacher at St George’s CE First School in Redditch, has been praised for supporting children and

their families during the pandemic.

Nominating him for the Teacher of the Year Award, parent Georgia Bromhead said Mr Abbott “showed a genuine interest” in her

son’s learning and development and “came up with strategies to support my son when he was struggling the most”.

“Mr Abbott is consistently supportive of both the children and parents,” she said. “During his time at Crabbs Cross, he was

friendly and approachable and throughout the beginning of the pandemic he made sure to check in with us parents and

children regularly.”

Mr Abbott said the nomination left him speechless, adding: “I am very fortunate that I have one of the best jobs in the

world. It sounds like a cliche but I’m just doing my job.”


Worcester News:

Jessica Moore - Wolverley CE Secondary School

“Inspirational” teacher Jess Moore was nominated by fellow teacher Alec Toyne after going “out of her way” to support her colleagues.

Ms Moore, a science teacher at Wolverley CE Secondary School, “oozes dedication to students” and has developed a new entry

level course to support struggling students on their journey towards their GCSEs.

“Jess never stops,” said Mr Toyne. “Her dedication to the students she teaches is incredibly impressive.

She regularly contacts home and acts as an advocate for the students.

“Despite a high workload, Jess is the first to volunteer to support on trips and Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards to ensure our

students get a fantastic experience of school.”

Ms Moore, who has been teaching for three years, said: “I feel lucky to have been given such amazing opportunities at such an

early stage of my career and having the chance to brighten students’ future, one day at a time.”

Worcester News:

Will Stark - New College Worcester

Passionate science teacher Will Stark has got students at New College Worcester excited about gardening, recycling,

climate change and more.

Mr Stark, head of science at NCW, has been praised for his “amazing and creative” lessons in which students have created a

wildlife pond, dissected real organs at a postmortem day, and encountered both full skeletons and life-size robotic dinosaurs.

“His form tutees are equally as important to him and he often takes them off out for lunch or tea just so he can have a good old

catch up on their news and plans,” said Tracey Smith, who nominated him for the award.

“He set up a walking club after school which led to morning miles, another great initiative to spend time with our students

outside of the classroom, chatting about the world around them.

“More importantly, he shares his time with the students – listening, advising, caring. Being away from your own family

is difficult.”

Star Student of the Year

Worcester News:

Arya Govin - Bowbrook House School

Arya Govin is credited by his school as “mature beyond his years”.

He is a kind, thoughtful and supportive member of society and thought of as a good leader.

Arya consistently encourages other pupils to take part and to try their best, whether that is in the classroom, on the sports

field or any other school event.

He is a prefect in year 11 who is also head of school council, which means that he listens to and takes on board pupil opinions and brings these suggestions to the attention of the headmaster.

Arya’s nominator says that he is always prepared to go the extra mile and does so with drive and enthusiasm.

He has taken school assembly with the other prefects, has given a reading at the school carol service and takes part in

the school orchestra.

Alongside all of this, he supports his peers daily, which his nominator describes as “a wonderful quality”.


Worcester News:

Meg Hipkin - Worcester Sixth Form College

Meg has been nominated for her hard work and determination.

She is always organised and has an exceptional work ethic. Meg suffers with CMT which causes her a massive amount of pain,

but she always has a smile on her face and a positive attitude to life.

Meg is thought of as a role model by her peers because she is always working to progress her skills and she even travels across the UK to take photos for her work.

Those around her believe that she is making a difference by being positive and friendly to everyone she meets and is always

caring for others.

Meg’s nomination said that she is always giving 110 per cent in every aspect of her work. She is thought of as punctual and always thinks of others before herself, which in the words of her nominator, “just makes her even more amazing.”

A nominator also said: “I know Meg will go far in her life with all the effort she puts into her work.”

Worcester News:

Kitty Holroyd - Malvern College

Kitty Holroyd is thought of as an inspiring pupil at Malvern College.

Since joining in year 9, she has exceeded academic expectations and is now waiting on offers from Russel Group Universities

where she hopes to study medicine.

Kitty is one of only six pupils chosen as a School Prefect. A prestigious position awarded to the most dedicated and

respected pupils, this role bridges gaps between academic staff and pupils; taking student concerns to senior management and

negotiating alongside senior staff to create the very best policies and practices for the school and its pupils.

Kitty partakes in numerous school teams and clubs as well as being a house buddy, mentoring younger girls and helping

them to settle into boarding life.

She has also worked on school campaigns as part of the #MeToo movement and environmentalism.

Staff at Malvern College value Kitty’s strong leadership skills and see her as a role model to her peers.

New Teacher of the Year

Worcester News:

Joseph Grange - Tudor Grange Academy Primary School

Joseph Grange was nominated for going the extra mile to make a difference in school.

His nomination highlighted his efforts collecting litter and supporting their interests.

It said: “Mr Grange took time to acknowledge each and every pupil in his class, and ensure he embraced every interest, hobby,

passion and motivation.

“For example, my daughter is an eco kid, and he gave up his lunch once a week to litter pick with her around the school, when

she received a letter from Sir David Attenborough, his excitement and passion level matched my daughter’s.

“Mr Grange has given concise and constructive feedback re my daughter and her education, ensuring areas for development are supported in school as well as at home.

“He is not afraid to approach people with what may be deemed difficult situations, and engage with some harder to reach parents.”

“We wished he was able to continue to teach my daughter in year 4."

Worcester News:

Ben Holman - North Worcester Primary Academy

Ben Holman has only been a teacher since September 2020, making the move from being an undertaker and taking on the daunting task of starting an entirely new career during the chaos of the pandemic.

Children at the school are said to rave about how funny he is and how his lessons are so enjoyable.

His nomination said: “Children could have become disengaged with school and learning during these challenging times but

Mr Holman has been a constant inspiration.”

In addition to his teaching, Mr Holman has also started an eco-warriors after school club for children to learn about

sustainability and how to look after the environment, starting with the local community.

He was recently off with Covid and the children missed him so much, they were counting down the days until his return to the


One parent who nominated Mr Holman said his work even helped her daughter emerge from her selective mutism.

Worcester News:

Andrew Oates - St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Andrew Oates is a teacher at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Warndon, Worcester.

His nomination particularly praised him for his work with children with special educational needs.

It said: “Mr Oates is currently teaching my child.

“He has shown such empathy and compassion for my child who has just been identified as on the spectrum.

“He knows the children so well and nothing is ever too much.

“He will go above and beyond which is just totally amazing.”

Another nominee praised Mr Oates for arranging one-on-one calls with pupils to help them if they are struggling, adding: “Mr

Oates is a great person, the children are so eager to go into school, want to please him and are proud to be in his class.

“My child has made excellent progress with him and is excited about learning.”

Special Educational Needs Award

Worcester News:

Janet Adsett - headteacher of Castlemorton CE Primary

STAFF at Castlemorton Church of England Primary have shown compassion and understanding to ensure a deaf pupil is able to thrive at school.

The school has gone and above beyond to help a deaf pupil by promoting the use of British Sign Language.

Staff helped the youngster to teach years 1 and 2 how to sign Away In A Manger for their Nativity.

In a moving performance, they added a ‘Strictly Come Dancing moment’ by following their singing with a period of silence

where pupils signed the song.

It was a powerful moment which boosted the youngster’s confidence and enhanced deaf awareness within the school.

Alongside this, staff used clear face shields to aid lip reading and have placed British Sign Language educational boards in the

playground to promote British Sign Language during playtimes.

The school is described as a “loving and nurturing environment” that helps all children thrive.

Worcester News:

Averil Thomas - St Clement's CE Primary

AVERIL Thomas has been a learning support assistant for 28 years and works at St Clement’s CE Primary School in St John’s,

Worcester, where she supports pupils who have special educational needs.

She makes resources and adapts them to meet the needs of each pupil she works with.

Averil goes above and beyond to help the children she supports. For instance, she has supported a pupil with Down’s syndrome for three years and during that time has helped the youngster progress by adapting to the unique way the child learns and by

never giving up.

Averil has played an instrumental role in the child’s development, by working tirelessly with their reading and writing.

During lockdown Averil created daily virtual lessons for the child which were so enjoyable that they always looked forward to

them. She is credited with helping the youngster to become a confident child through her unfailing patience and care.

Worcester News:

Nicola Byng - Westlands First School

NICOLA Byng works at Westlands First School in Droitwich where she supports nursery children with special educational

and social and emotional needs.

She is described as a “fabulous and gifted” teacher who goes above and beyond for every single child she supports.

Nicola implements individualised strategies for every child within the classroom, making sure they feel like a valued member of their class. As part of her work, she carries out early intervention for children with special educational needs and makes

adaptations to the classroom so each child can fully participate and is included in the lessons.

She also uses signing and visual support to make sure all children have access to appropriate communication methods.

Nicola is also dedicated to building positive relationships with families, especially those that are hard to reach. She has been

described as a “complete asset” to her school and the wider community.

Independent School of the Year

Worcester News:

Bowbrook House School

BOWBROOK House is a small independent mixed school that is non-selective with entries.

The ethos of the school is to nurture the best from students whilst keeping them engaged with work.

Staff are always encouraging students to delve deeper into subjects, developing a “well rounded individual.”

Every child matters at Bowbrook House which is evident through excellent teaching and support given to suit each student.

Staff make pupils feel important regardless of their academic ability and help them improve on individual weak points.

Parents have praised the school for providing a “nurturing environment” and for “providing excellent support” during

various Covid lockdowns and home learning.

The school has been specifically recognised for their dedicated support for students with autism spectrum disorders.

These children “have been allowed to develop as themselves rather than having to conform to a preset standard”.

Worcester News:

The River School

THE River School has a Christian ethos at the heart of everything it does.

The school welcomes children from two years to 16 years old and is a “community that includes all the children/young

people and their families, the volunteers, alumni and all staff of the school”.

There is a “real family atmosphere” with older pupils carrying out tasks to support younger pupils and the wider school site.

The River School is heavily involved in the community and has planted bulbs, sung to the elderly, and taken part in the annual Fernhill Heath Scarecrow competition.

A quiet room has been set up at the school for pupils to use during lunchtimes when they want a calming space.

Students have also completed a workbook advising how to deal with different motions. A parent and teaching assistant at

the school said she “is proud to be part of a loving community”.

Worcester News:

RGS Dodderhill

RGS Dodderhill offers nursery and prep school education for boys and girls between two and 11 and a senior school for girls aged 11 to 16.

The school provides an environment where children can develop a love for learning and grow into confident young people.

Staff “come into work full of energy, joy and smiles” and put pupil’s happiness and needs first to ensure they succeed in life.

The school has been commended by one student who experienced bullying at a previous school.

The student said bullies made her feel “fear, low, anger and sadness” but when she moved to RGS Dodderhill her life


She describes the school as her miracle and received “phenomenal” support from staff, specifically head mistress Mrs Sarah


Staff gave revived her motivation and every day she feels happy to go to RGS Dodderhill. One student said: “they are not just a

school; they are a family.”

Early Years Education / Primary School of the Year

Worcester News:

Abbey Park Pre-School

FOR the team at Abbey Park, in Pershore, work doesn’t stop at 5pm.

The person who nominated them says the staff go above and beyond not only for the children in their care, but for the

families who are struggling too.

Staff, who work many unpaid hours, provide care and support for vulnerable families and children in the care of local authorities.

Christmas presents were organised for children who might otherwise receive nothing, food parcels were arranged for those in need, and even, when necessary, staff contacted the police on behalf of abused family members.

The school’s nominator says the staff are the “most supportive” ladies she has ever met, who have genuine care for the children.

Whilst at the nursery, children are provided with a varied choice of activities including cooking, music, and outdoor forest school learning.

It is the aim of the staff that each child is happy, thriving, and successful during their early years.


Worcester News:

The Lenches Pre-school

THE new manager of this Wychavon pre-school might be the star, but it is a team effort that has seen The Lenches pre-school

nominated for an Education Award.

The chairperson of the charity-run pre-school, Paula Amer, had nothing but praise for Natalie Walters who was promoted to manager just as the first lockdown was coming to an end.

But Ms Walters is simply reflective of the team behind her, who continued to provide the “very best” care during the pandemic,

despite facing challenges of their own.

One person who nominated them said their daughter is excited to go every day, thanks to the friendly staff and forest school activities.

They also highlighted how staff were able to work with each family to ensure they received the care they needed throughout the


The school has also achieved Millie’s Mark, an “exceptional achievement” that shows they going above and beyond what is

expected of them.


Worcester News:

Fairfield Day Nursery

IT is the knowledgeable, skilful, and friendly staff that see Fairfield Day Nursery, on Carnforth Drive, Worcester, receive a

nomination for Early Years Education/Primary School of the Year.

The person who nominated them has a child who requires additional support and thanks to the staff at Fairfield Day Nursery, this was detected at a very early stage.

As such, their child has been provided with the assistance they need, which the parent says has “tremendously improved”

their development.

They say the nursery has become like a “second home” for their child, a place where they are treated differently as a result of their additional needs.

And it seems this is not a one-off, with staff using their thorough knowledge of the children’s interests and abilities, as well as

building relationships with parents, to provide a tailored service suited to each child."

Middle/Secondary School of the Year

Worcester News:

St Bede’s Catholic Middle School in Redditch

St Bede’s Catholic Middle School in Redditch has been working hard to support students and staff during the Covid pandemic.

The school altered days to ensure that all pupils felt ready to return following lockdown.

A wellbeing survey carried out by the school showed that 97 per cent of pupils felt ready to return, with the other three per

cent having one-to-one specialist sessions.

The school has said the specialist sessions, run by the JAP (Junior Apprenticeship Program), helped reassure pupils who

needed support.

One of the school’s key achievements has been the introduction of its ‘Virtual Curriculum’, which allows pupils to learn up to 42 other subjects that they would not otherwise study in a school day.

St Bede’s holds the prestigious IQM award for inclusiveness and was awarded the GL Centre of Excellence.

The school is also a careers hub and has led county and nationwide events.

Worcester News:

Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form

Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form in Worcester has described itself as a “truly inclusive school at the

heart of the community.”

The school has the Inclusion Quality Mark Flagship School Award which “demonstrates the ethos of including everyone in our

community.” For example, they integrated six Syrian refugees into school life, three of whom are now at university.

The school set up a Just Giving page to buy materials to make protective visors for NHS and care home staff during the pandemic.

The school remained open, including holiday periods, supporting 100 plus keyworkers and vulnerable students and set up Online learning platforms in order that students could continue to be taught and supported from home.

The school said: “We believe that this is a happy, vibrant school which offers life-changing experiences for everyone and that we are a worthy contender in the category of Secondary School of the Year Award.”

Support Staff of the Year

Worcester News:

Ash Roberts - Burlish Park Primary

Ash is a dedicated worker at Burlish Park Primary School in Stourport, and has gone above and beyond setting up initiatives such as a healthy cooking club, and ‘Walks of Discovery’.

Colleague Joseph Lindley nominated Ash, writing: “Ash deserves to win this award due to the huge positive contribution he makes to the lives of so many pupils at Burlish Park.

“Ash’s role within the school is to help pupils with their physical development as well as their social and emotional health and wellbeing.

“Ash has an excellent rapport with pupils, their parents and the staff. He has supported so many pupils for many years and this would be an excellent way to acknowledge his hard work and dedication and the positive impact that he has had and continues to

have on the personal, social, emotional and wellbeing of the pupils.

Worcester News:

Maggie Lisseman - Great Witley CE Primary

Maggie Lisseman's nomination came due to her tireless efforts and dedication to Great Witley CE Primary School. The hardworking staff member has worked at the school for over 25 years under four different headteachers.

She occupies a multitude of positions including teaching assistant, school cleaner, caretaker and lunchtime supervisor. A usual day for Maggie starts at 7am, where she opens the school and helps with the morning duties and doesn’t finish until 7pm when she finally locks up.

Anne Watson nominated her saying: “She works extremely hard, always has the children at the front of her mind in everything she does.

“When her car broke down she cycled to work in the dark and will do anything and everything to ensure the school is open.

“She is a much-valued member of our team that we would love to shine a light on.”


Worcester News:

Jenny Bishop - Sytchampton Primary School

Jenny has been the school business manager at Sytchampton Primary School, near Worcester, for around 10 years and is known for loving her job, caring about the school, the staff, the pupils and all of their families.

Headteacher of the school Amanda Richards nominated Jenny, saying: “Jenny is the go-to person for any questions.

“She is the backbone of the school and the glue that holds us all together.

“Without Jenny, our school simply wouldn’t function as smoothly as it does.

“Because of her quiet, unassuming hard graft, the rest of the staff can focus on the core elements of their roles, knowing with confidence, that everything else will be taken care of.

“When Jenny sees other staff struggling or battling with their workload, she offers to help. When parents have turned up at the school office upset, she dishes out hugs and reassurance.”

Lockdown Hero

Worcester News:

Paul and Helen Harding

Paul and Helen Harding at Discover History have performed exceptional work throughout the Covid19 pandemic.

With the imposition of numerous lockdowns, the two realised that they would be unable to inform and educate children and adults as normal.

Therefore, they moved their services online in order to help children with their history learning as well as a way to reach out to adults stuck at home with no one to talk to.

One of the ways that Paul and Helen Harding bring history to life for the people of Worcestershire is through their entertaining and informative talks and walks around the city of Worcester.

They have also been providing resources to teachers that allow children to learn in a relaxed way about the history of this country – and Worcester in particular.

Worcester News:

Louise Waters - St Bede's Catholic Middle School

Louise Waters has been credited for going above and beyond to help pupils at St Bede’s Catholic Middle School, especially throughout the hardships of the lockdown period.

She organised endless support and treats for the children to help them get through lockdown, including sending wellbeing tokens to each and every pupil.

Louise’s nominator said: “During the two lockdowns, Louise has consistently gone well above and beyond.

“She has been here first thing in the morning to open the school up, has helped clean when we were short staffed, each week at least once a week, and has frequently been at school at 9 o’clock at night to lock up.”

Louise’s colleagues admire the way that she puts 100% into everything she does. They say that she is a truly caring individual with lots of empathy for the children that she works with.

Worcester News:

Matthew Pye - Abbey Park

When lockdown hit, Abbey Park school put out a plea on Facebook asking the local community to hand in any unwanted laptops or tablets to the school.

IT technician Matthew Pye volunteered to delete all personal information from the donated devices so that the devices could be rehomed to families without access to computers.

He even went as far as to put some personal information on to memory sticks for the local community, as some did not know how to do it themselves.

Thanks to Mr Pye’s efforts, every single pupil at Abbey Park school was able to access their lessons from home.

Nominators are thrilled with this massive achievement, especially considering the laptop shortage at the time.