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nasen Award 2023 winners announced!

nasen Award

In the seventh, annual nasen Awards, 16 schools, individuals and organisations were recognised for their outstanding work to ensure that children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and learning differences to reach their full potential.

The inspiring nasen ceremony, held at the Grand Hotel Birmingham on Friday (6th October 2023), was supported by official media sponsors, tes. 

Chief Executive of nasen, Annamarie Hassall MBE said: “This year we received the greatest number of nominations, telling us of deserving schools, colleges, settings and individuals that are working together to make a difference for children and young people.

“All our winners, and those nominated, are true role models , shaping practice in their setting, whilst leading and inspiring others. They exemplify what is making a difference for learners with SEND and most of all, for inclusion. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our judges, sponsors, and media partner for helping us celebrate these truly remarkable individuals, teams and organisations.”

The nasen 2023 Award winners are:



Sponsored by

Alternative Provision of the Year

Chadsgrove School Support Services - Pathways Team, Bromsgrove

SENsational Tutors Ltd.

Co-Production Initiative of the Year

Emily Rushton and BHJS Neurodiversity Champions, Bromley Seashell

Early Years Provision of the Year

University of Bradford Nursery, Bradford Nursery World

International Provision of the Year

Neurodiversity at Work Research Centre, Thailand IDL

Leader or Leadership Team of the Year

Andrew Poole, Everton Free School, Liverpool National Education Union

Specialist Provision of the Year

NHS England Choices College, Yorkshire The Edwin Group

Young Advocate of the Year (Aged 16 and Under)

Finn Anderson-Hendra, Dwight School, London Cosmo by Filisia

Young Advocate of the Year (aged 17 and over)

Maham Butt, Hopwood Hall College, Manchester Christie and Co

Changemaker of the Year

Hannah Walton, One/Third Project, West Midlands Rockerbox News

Further Education (FE) Provision of the Year

Derwen College, Derwen, Shropshire Seashell

Innovation in the Field of Inclusion

Highland Deaf Education Services, Scotland Concero

Primary Provision of the Year

Sir Alex Fleming Primary School, Telford Axcis Education

Secondary Provision of the Year

The Ruth Gorse Academy, Leeds Secondary Language Link

Support Practitioner of the Year

Rob Carroll, Barnet and Southgate College, Barnet

Whole School SEND

Teacher of the Year

Gary Whall, formerly of Bristnall Hall Academy, Oldbury, Sandwell Scanning Pens

The David Ryan Award for Positive Media Impact

Georgina Durrant, Author and Podcaster, Cheshire nasen Connect

One of nasen's 16 winners was Hannah Walton, who won the Changemaker Award for her work supporting 16-25-year-olds via the One/Third Project. Advocating for educational equality and accessibility, Hannah’s endless work has transformed the lives of young individuals with SEND who have experienced disrupted education, working with them to build their confidence, achieve academic success and develop vital life skills to thrive. In addition to the support provided to hundreds of young people across the West Midlands, Hannah runs workshops, outreach initiatives and social action projects to break down barriers and ensure no one is left behind.

Another inspiring winner was Emily Rushton and Bromley High Junior School’s ‘Neurodiversity Champions’ who won the Co-production Initiative of the Year. Emily facilitated the project that sees a committee of Year 3-6 pupils take on the role of ‘champions’ of SEND in their school, working together to make real change. The committee has organised Makaton classes, started an art initiative, and even held a dyspraxia disco, complete with lights and dance tutorials, all whilst providing senior leaders with constant feedback and ideas on what needs to change. The pilot has been so successful that Emily has since expanded the project within the wider Girls Day School Trust and is recruiting neurodiversity champions across all the schools!

For more information on the nasen Awards, visit: or follow #nasenAwards2023