Skip to main content

nasen Awards 2021 Winners

Thank you to all of those who sent in their nominations to the 5th annual Awards. We received an incredible number of nominations for inspiring organisations and individuals this year, for our 13 categories. It truly was very difficult to narrow down our shortlist and to select the winners. 

Congratulations to our chosen winners! Find out more about them below.

Be sure to keep an eye out for when our next Awards nominations are open to put forward your choices!

A photo of the 'Teacher of the Year' nasen award 2021 winner alongside host Dominic Holland and a representative of the award Sponsor Equazen

The nasen Award for 16-25 Provision

Sponsored by Brain in Hand

Derwen College was recognised for going above and beyond to support residential and day students with a wide range of complex needs, disabilities, and autism during the pandemic – ensuring that each and every student was motivated, engaged and learning, whether at home or in college. Embracing online tools, staff ensured everyone stayed connected with Sports Day, Prom, Graduation, weekly sports challenges, national skills competitions, Makaton sessions, and even a Pet Show, all going ahead virtually.

Photograph of staff from Derwen College and host Dominic Holland

Winner – Derwen College

The nasen Award for Co-Production With Children and Young People and Their Families

Sponsored by Seashell trust

The Grove Pastoral Team has been recognised for supporting young people with autism by developing and fostering productive partnerships in working with parents and carers – and ultimately achieving 100% engagement with families. By setting up a family support service which focused on communication and establishing positive relationships, staff could ensure better access to services for children, and offer bespoke training and services tailored to each family's need.

Coproduction_Grove Pastoral_Seashell-min

The Grove Pastoral Team

The David Ryan Publication Award 2021

Sponsored by maths for Life

Scooping the top accolade for the David Ryan Publication Award, an award developed in honour of late nasen trustee David Ryan to recognise an innovative publication that has had a positive impact on children and young people with SEND, Dr Mourton was recognised for striving to ensure that the voices of pupils with SEND are heard and acted upon.

David Ryan_Niamh Mourton_Maths for Life-min

Dr Niamh Mourton

The nasen Award for Early Years Provision

Sponsored by Nursery World

Throughout the pandemic to accommodate, and also fully include, children with complex medical needs requiring continuing care, Anglia Sunshine has adapted routines, employed extra adults qualified in the relevant areas of health care, and made significant changes to the setting’s environment.

Early years _Anglia Sunshine Nurseries - Nursey World-min

Anglia Sunshine Nurseries

The International Provision of the Year Award

Sponsored by ICEP Europe

Steps With Theera was recognised for its work to meet a desperate need for the inclusion of every Thai person in accessing fulfilling employment. Founded in 2016, Steps With Theera offers vocational training centres to anyone in Thailand with a learning difference who wishes to learn, access training, socialise, advance their education, and ultimately find a stepping stone to employment.

International_Annamarie on behalf of ICEP_Steps with theera-min

Steps with Theera

Learning Support Staff Member of the Year

Sponsored by Axcis

Carla was recognised for the ideas, insights and empathy she has shown at Bournemouth’s Tregonwell Academy – a specialist provision for children and young people who have social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH) and/or Autism. In addition to her substantive positions, Carla has voluntarily taken on the role of Wellbeing Champion, and has had a huge impact in this role for pupils, their families and staff.

*Accepting award on Carla’s behalf – Amrit Singh, Chief Operating Officer of nasen

Learning Support_Amrit on behalf of Carla_Axcis-min

Carla Baker

The nasen Award for Primary Provision

Sponsored by GL Assessment

Whitefield School has been recognised for its focus on high-quality inclusive practice in classes, with the aim of integrating all children in learning as much as possible. The school is located in an area of social and economic disadvantage (in the bottom 1% of deprived areas nationally), and its percentage of pupils with SEN support is well above the national average, at 25.3% of children in school on the SEND register.

Primary provision_Whitefield_GL Assessment-min

Whitefield Primary School

The nasen Award for Secondary Provision

Sponsored by Seeds of Change

Henley Bank High was recognised for the supportive relationships it has formed between staff, SEND students and their families, and for striving to involve 100% of parent/carers in the education journey. Henley Bank High is an inclusive mainstream academy, with 28.7% pupils on the SEND register, and in three years has become locally renowned for providing excellent provision for young people with SEND.

Secondary Provision_henley Bank_Seeds of Change-min

Henley Bank High School

Specialist Provision of the Year Award

Sponsored by IDL

Over the past two years, staff at Bramfield have strived to develop a completely new, holistic curriculum, leading to the best GCSE results in the school’s history, with outcomes higher than those in mainstream settings. Supporting exceptional learning and outcomes for young people with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH) – part of its remit as a specialist SEMH school supporting boys from disadvantaged backgrounds from a wide area in Suffolk and Norfolk. 

Specialist Provision_Bramfield House_IDL-min

Bramfield House School

nasen Teacher of the Year Award

Sponsored by Equazen

Birmingham’s Abed Ahmed – Head of Maths at King Edwards VI Handsworth Wood Girls' Academy – runs Mr ST’s Stammer Support Group – an initiative of online Zoom sessions for 5 to 16-year-olds who have a stammer or speech impairment – which he leads alongside his school’s own stammer support group which he voluntarily runs.

Teachers award_Abed Ahmed_Schools week-min

Abed Ahmed

Send Leader of the Year Award

Sponsored by NEU

Torquay Deputy Head, Colin May, has worked at Mayfield Special School over two decades, supporting pupils with a wide range of needs, and moving from a class of extremely complex secondary pupils to the school’s primary department. His own beliefs in terms of supporting pupils who are distressed have formed the basis of what lies at the heart of the Mayfield ethos and are celebrated as the reason why the school is so well respected and valued by the local community.

Send Leader_Colin May-min

Colin May

The Innovation Award for Technology

Sponsored by Scanning Pens

Increasing reading, spelling and mathematical ability in pupils with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and SEND, IDLS has supported thousands of children and young people by providing innovative multi-sensory technology to schools in the UK and overseas – especially over the last 12 months, when the company has overcome obstacles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure customers could continue to benefit from the programme.

Technology_IDL_Scanning pens-min


Young Person/Youth (up to 25 Years) Achievement Award

Sponsored by NeuroDiversity Networks CIC

Hope was recognised for re-discovering her love of learning, after struggles in education meant she was no longer able to attend school from March 2020. Despite ongoing difficulties with learning at school, Hope masked her struggles, with those around her thinking she was fine despite continual conversations that suggested otherwise.

*Accepting award on Hope’s behalf – J Grange, judge and rapper

Young Person_Neurodiversity_JGrange on behalf of Hope-min

Hope Whittaker

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the awards ceremony, please do get in touch