Cheshire school takes top national award for SEND work

A CHESTER high school has taken the top prize for its work helping learners with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

The Supportive Education Department at Upton-by-Chester High School collected the award for Secondary Provision at the National Association for Special Educational Needs’ (NASEN) sixth annual awards, at a glitzy ceremony at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham.

NASEN is the leading membership charity that supports children and young people with SEND to reach their full potential, whilst being a champion, friend and protector of the SEND workforce. The awards are also supported by Scanning Pens, Axcis Education, and official awards media partner, Schools Week.

Under the leadership of headteacher Lee Cummins the school has created a Supportive Education Department that is fully inclusive, and has become a satellite school for the local specialist setting, Dorin Park. The Department has created a number of engaging facilities including a sensory garden, sensory room and even a small animal farm. Many learners choose to keep in touch with department staff after leaving the school, and return to complete work experience sessions in conjunction with the local college.

Upton-by-Chester High School joins 17 other award winners, judged by a panel of leading professionals with a wealth of experience in education and SEND – as well as individuals with lived experience.

Speaking of their win Lee Cummins (Headteacher) at Upton-by-Chester said: “This award is a fantastic accolade for all the staff and learners who make up the Supportive Education Department at Upton-by-Chester High School. We are delighted that the hard work of all the staff in particular has been recognised.”

Chief Executive of NASEN, Annamarie Hassall MBE said: “Upton-by-Chester High School should be extremely proud of what they have achieved through the Supportive Education department. The sensory garden and room, along with the small farm are fantastic assets for a mainstream school! We also loved the department’s motto, ‘If that were my child’; a value that inspires inclusion.”

Chester and District Standard | Education