WINNER: Lucie Rush, Thurston Community CollegeSupport Staff of the Year - winner

Lucie has completely changed the culture of Thurston Community College’s inclusive provision, in particular the service offered through the Inclusive Learning Room. This has improved significantly the quality of support that is offered to students and their families. Lucie has shifted the culture for students from one of high dependence on staff to one of self-belief, self-actualisation and finding success in self. Lucie has been to numerous professional development courses and school visits in her efforts to improve the quality of provision. She has instigated a student voice group for disadvantaged students, and works tirelessly to support and champion the college’s most vulnerable students.

Shortlisted Finalists

  • Lynda Hood, Kessingland Church of England Primary Academy

Lynda has driven the school’s involvement in developing their understanding and provision for young carers. She has established briefing sessions and training for staff, and co-ordinated a Suffolk Young Carers week. Lessons throughout the week looked at the pupils’ understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a young carer. It concluded with a celebration assembly and a non-school uniform fundraising event for Suffolk Young Carers, and overwhelmingly positive feedback from the pupils. She now runs a thriving young carers group, and supports young carers by attending respite activities organised by Suffolk Family Carers during summer holidays.

  • Stuart McKenzie and Zellah Chambers, The Albert Pye Community Primary School

Teaching Assistant Stuart and Pastoral Support Leader Zellah set up the school’s Panathlon Club, to make better sports provision for children with special education needs at the school. Some 20 children now attend this club, all of whom have SEN plans. The children have attended regional competitions and proudly returned to school to show off their hard-earned medals to the rest of the community. The impact of all of this on the children’s self-esteem is significant. Stuart and Zellah have given up their own time and shown commitment, determination and passion to improve opportunities for some of the more vulnerable children at the school.