The fifth ‘Excellence in Warwickshire’ Awards took place on Wednesday 6 March at Honiley Court Hotel, Kenilworth.
The event was a celebration of achievements in education during the previous academic year, recognising the hard work and commitment of not just headteachers but governors, teaching staff, pupils and key services of the council.
Representatives from nursery, primary and secondary schools from across the county attended the event, which kicked off with a lively performance, directed by Kieron Howe, from the central area intermediate windband, a group of school age musicians from the central area of the county. There to present the awards were Joint Managing Director, Monica Fogarty; Interim Assistant Director for Education, Paul Senior and Portfolio Holder for Education and Learning, Cllr Colin Hayfield.
The first of the awards presented were to recognise schools inspected in 2017/18 who either improved their Ofsted rating or retained their outstanding grade. Some of these schools have worked exceptionally hard to move from ‘Special Measures’ or ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good, taking on board recommendations from their previous inspection and overcoming significant challenges to improve the quality of education for their learners.
Two of Warwickshire’s education settings – Whitnash Nursery and The Canons Church of England Primary – were successful in keeping hold of their ‘outstanding’ judgement, something that requires real drive and determination.
Everyone plays a part in the improvement journey, which is why this year the event paid tribute to 16 governors who have all dedicated 20 years to supporting Warwickshire schools. This is a role which is often overlooked, however governors give up their time freely but carry out a critical role in overseeing the direction in which a school is travelling.
The final part of the evening took an opportunity to celebrate those schools that have gained the Warwickshire Fair Workload Charter kite mark, an initiative introduced to address the challenges of managing teacher workload. With a recent focus nationally on the effects the management of workload is having on staff absence and turnover, this gives schools and settings an opportunity to create an environment that will optimise staff wellbeing, and aid in recruitment and retention of teachers.
The ceremony also shone a light on pupils, giving them the opportunity to share their own stories, talking about their positive experiences of education and why they think their own school deserves to be rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
Cllr Colin Hayfield, Portfolio Holder – Education & Learning, said: “In Warwickshire, we aim to provide our young people with the very best foundation for future success, helping them to meet their aspirations and reach their full potential.
It is really important that we take the time to recognise these achievements; this event is an excellent opportunity not just to celebrate the contributions of everyone involved but also to help them to keep up the high standards they have set and to share the best practice that has served them and the young people attending these schools.”