A middle school in Bromsgrove has been nominated for a prestigious award in recognition of its "amazing" support for those with special education needs. 

St John's CofE Middle School Academy is in the running for the Special Education Needs (SENCO) Award in the Worcestershire Education Awards 2024 for the Launchpad which provides vital support for students with cognition and learning difficulties. 

The Launchpad, which was set up around seven years ago, provides specialist provision within a mainstream school and supports students with their next steps. 

The school has been nominated by The Spire CofE Learning Trust's special needs coordinator, Daniel McEvilly, who has credited the Launchpad with making parents realise mainstream education is still possible for those with special education needs.

He said: "The Launch Pad is an amazing provision that has launched many children into their next steps of education.

"Parents who have previously believed a mainstream education has been out of reach for their children have seen them make accelerated progress under their supervision and have seen them accessing age-appropriate learning.

"Mrs Roberts and Mrs Broom support children in making accelerated progress to access their next steps in education whether this be back in mainstream education or specialist provision."

Reacting to the nomination, the head of the school Alison Elwell, said: "What a wonderful accolade for the dedication of the staff, who work tirelessly to meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable learners in our oversubscribed Launch pad provision.

"This only serves to reinforce Ofsted’s findings in our recent inspection where they concluded that 'pupils with SEND sit at the heart of the curriculum. They have their needs identified accurately and appropriate adaptations and support are put in place to enable them to access the whole curriculum. These pupils, therefore, achieve well.'

"This really is a true reflection of our schools vision, where we seek to be a truly inclusive community where all can reach their full potential. The staff involved in our Launchpad provision truly deserve this recognition and we couldn’t be more proud of them."

The school added that SEN teaching assistant, Sharon Broom, and specialist teacher, Elizabeth Roberts, were delighted and humbled when hearing about the nomination, but feel that it is their privilege and honour to work in the Launchpad and make a difference both academically and personally to these young people’s lives.

The Worcestershire Education Awards shine a spotlight on those who continue to make a difference in the field of education and are organised by Newsquest - publishers of the Worcester News, Malvern Gazette, Evesham Journal, Bromsgrove and Droitwich Advertiser, Redditch Advertiser and Kidderminster Shuttle.

Culminating in a glitzy black-tie dinner, the awards seek to reward those members of the teaching and education sector for their hard work both in the classroom and behind the scenes.

It only takes a few minutes to make a nomination just visit https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/worcestershireeducationawards/

The closing date for nominations is February 11, 2024.

If you would like to sponsor the awards please contact sales event manager Debra Orr on 07739 820690 or email debra.orr@localiq.co.uk.