Pupils, students and teachers at schools who are the hope of south Lincolnshire’s future were celebrated last night at a glittering ceremony.
The function room at South Holland Centre was packed with more than 200 people for the first Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardain Education Awards, in association with Duncan and Toplis Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors.
Free Press and Guardian editor Jeremy Ransome said he was overwhelmed with the response and the opportunity to showcase “some of the fabulous pupils and students, inspiring teachers and great schools we have in the area”
Mr Ransome emphasised how he was a father of three children who were all educated locally, before thanking sponsors and those involved in organising the event.
“I look forward to next year’s Education Awards being bigger and better by including even more of the area’s schools,” Mr Ransome said.
There were 12 award categories, with School of the Year (Primary) being won by Spalding Parish Church of England Day School, while School of the Year (Secondary) went to Bourne Academy.
The Student of the Year Award was won by Poppy Hudson in Year 8 at Sir John Gleed School, Spalding, while the Most Improved Student was presented to Bourne Academy sixth-former Abi Hill.
Other winners included Alison Buddle, executive teacher of Gedney Hill Church of England Primary School, who was named Headteacher of the Year (Primary) and Chris Beckett, retired headteacher of The Deepings School, Deeping St James, who took the Headteacher of the Year (Secondary) Award.
During the awards evening, guests heard an inspiring speech by Invictus Games gold medallist and retired RAF Flight Lieutenant Carl Harding of Bourne.
A parent governor himself at the Willoughby School in Bourne, Mr Harding’s speech was based on the motto of this year’s Invictus Games for injured servicemen and women, ‘I Am’.
Mr Harding said: “Don’t dwell on what you can’t do, but always strive for what you can achieve.”
A student featured in the Guardian’s Sports Stars of the Future series, Deeping St James triathlete Kayleigh Adams, won the Outstanding Sporting Achievement award, Theresa Earl of Peele Community College, Long Sutton, took the Support Staff award and Ted Fisk, head of drama at Bourne Academy, was given the Contribution to the Community award.
The climax of the evening was a speech by South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes, a father of two sons who are both educated at schools in the area.
Mr Hayes praised the Free Press and Guardian for organising the awards, describing them as “local newspapers that engage with their community, as well as sponsors, schools and teachers.
“Well ladies and gentlemen, what a splendid evening it has been, hasn’t it?” Mr Hayes added.
“I am really honoured and delighted to be part of this.”
Also amongst the award winners were Cowbit St Mary’s Church of England Primary School (Environmental Award), Katrina Randall of Spalding Primary School (Inspirational Teacher of the Year (Primary)) and Diane Jenney of Thomas Cowley School, Donington (Inspirational Teacher of the Year (Secondary))
You can find comprehensive coverage of the awards event, including winners and finalists, in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press.