EDUCATION AWARDS: Lights shine brightly for caring Ellen and ‘very positive’ Matthew

TOP STUDENTS: Coun Christine Lawton, on behalf of category sponsors South Holland District Council, presents the Student of the Year award to Peter Thatcher, grandfather of winner Ellen Debney, alongside a representative for Katie Wickham, Abbie Upton and Nathan Cook.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
TOP STUDENTS: Coun Christine Lawton, on behalf of category sponsors South Holland District Council, presents the Student of the Year award to Peter Thatcher, grandfather of winner Ellen Debney, alongside a representative for Katie Wickham, Abbie Upton and Nathan Cook. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Two outstanding students from schools in Long Sutton and Bourne were winners at this year’s Education Awards.

Ellen Debney (16), of Peele Community College, Long Sutton, and Matthew Squire (19), of Willoughby School, Bourne, were named Student of the Year and Most Improved Student 2016 respectively.

FORWARD PROGRESS: Elizabeth Squire accepts the Most Improved Student Award on behalf of her son Matthew Squire from Mark Everett, business unit manager for Worldwide Fruit, alongside Tom Jibb (left) and Jak Bembridge (right).  Photo by Tim Wilson.

FORWARD PROGRESS: Elizabeth Squire accepts the Most Improved Student Award on behalf of her son Matthew Squire from Mark Everett, business unit manager for Worldwide Fruit, alongside Tom Jibb (left) and Jak Bembridge (right). Photo by Tim Wilson.

Judges praised Ellen for gaining nine GCSEs in the summer, whilst helping to care for a younger sister with learning needs.

Ellen, who missed the awards night through illness, said: “I didn’t event know I’d been nominated, but I’m honoured to have been recognised and very sorry that I couldn’t come.”

There was recognition too for category finalists Abbie Upton, of Bourne Academy, Katie Wickham, of Spalding High School, and Nathan Cook, of The Deepings School.

Meanwhile, Matthew has overcome behavioural needs to be able to go on visits to other schools, including nearby Bourne Grammar School.

I’m honoured to have been recognised and very sorry that I couldn’t come

Ellen Debney, of Peele Community College, Long Sutton

Elizabeth Squires, Matthew’s mother, said: “Matthew is a lovely boy who has been able to put his trust in the school’s support staff who give him time and space to communicate by being so warm and so giving.”

Other finalists praised in this category by the judges were Jak Bembridge, of Spalding Academy, and Tom Jibb, of The Deepings School.

James Husbands, head teacher of Willougby School, Bourne, said: “Matthew won our Student of the Year Award for his very positive attitude and bright smile.”