Iain Stirling

Given the wealth of talent in the Northamptonshire education sector, we are proud to continue to recognise the achievements of the schools and teachers who provide children across our county with the learning experiences they need.

And it’s not just teaching staff and schools – the Northamptonshire Education Awards also celebrate the personnel and teams, from headteachers and school business managers to subject-specialist individuals and teams, and those working with children with individual needs.

All Things Business holds an Outstanding rating from the Awards Trust Mark Scheme, which was established with the aim of encouraging more award programmes to focus on their own ethics and transparency. The scheme scrutinises everything from criteria, scoring, feedback, transparency and judging.

This means that all entries to the Northamptonshire Education Awards are scored against set criteria and marked through a bespoke software-based scoring system before finalists are selected. The finalists will then be considered by the independent judges to choose a winner.

Any individual or school in education in Northamptonshire can enter the awards, and nominations are also welcome from friends, family, colleagues, parents and students.

So, what are you waiting for? We’d love to hear from you.

2023 Winners

Ian Pryce, CBE

Contribution to Education Award
Ian has dedicated nearly 30 years to improving educational standards and offering top-quality education to the community. His efforts led to the merger of Bedford College and Tresham College, forming The Bedford College Group, a leading educational institution in the South East Midlands.

John Ditchburn

Lifetime Achievement
Out of all the candidates, John stood out as being most aligned to the title of the award – Lifetime Achievement. He has made an outstanding commitment and contribution to education and has inspired many people over many years.

Wootton Park School

Overall School of the Year
The overwhelming number of entries across all categories made this school stand out. The staff feel proud of what they and their colleagues have achieved and the parents speak passionately about what they see as the impact of great schooling on their children.

Wootton Park School

Secondary School of the Year
Wootton Park School showed an amazing endorsement from parents. The school is proud of its achievements and results, but enjoys that success alongside an approach that always focuses on the wellbeing of every child and member of staff.

Parklands Primary School

Primary School of the Year
Parklands Primary School is said to be flourishing, developing a positive ethos and constantly striving to improve teaching and leadership and deliver for both the pupils within the school and the wider community.

Carmilla Cassidy

Headteacher of the Year
The judges selected Carmilla, based on strong nominations that showed her dedication to people, progress and process. She was described as considerate and engaging, and there is said to be a real momentum to what she is trying to build within their school.

Purple Oaks Academy

SEND School of the Year
Purple Oaks Academy has proved itself over the years to be one that delivers excellent results. There is a sense of ambition for all students, who demonstrate a high level of confidence in the teaching which in turn gives them a desire to study.

Fran Hedges

School Business Manager of the Year
Fran Hedges demonstrated to the judging panel evidence of a consideration for the school as a whole, underpinned by sound business management. She is as much focused on the wellbeing of all those in the school, an empathetic friend, as well as a capable manager.

Northampton Academy

STEM Award
Northampton Academy showed an array of wider involvement initiatives that create opportunities for young people in the STEM subjects. There are strong performance outcomes in terms of achievement and the staff go above and beyond to develop a love for STEM learning at every level.

Wellingborough School

Environmental and Sustainability Award
The Eco-Schools team, of Wellingborough School, has developed a long-standing whole school approach across every year group and demonstrate a passion for making improvements. There’s a great deal of positive energy around what they are doing.

Emma Ironmonger

English Team/Teacher of the Year
The judges were impressed by some of the comments made by those nominating Emma, which included ‘a beacon of light’ and ‘supportive, kind and amazing’. Every child is supported, particularly those who sometimes feel they don’t fit in.

Sarah Price

Maths Team/Teacher of the Year
Sarah takes a progressive and solution focused approach based on students enjoying learning and developing ‘real life’ maths skills. This positive engagement has seen improvement in results and outcomes and the judges described this school as ‘punching above its weight’.

Woodleys Farm Day Nursery

Nursery of the Year
The children at this nursery are seen as individuals, and the work and activities are tailored to their needs. Communication between the nursery and the child and its parents is great, parents trust the nursery and it is clear that children thrive there.
See More

Award Categories

The Independent Judges

Judge Image

Amanda Marlow – Business Development at Aiimi

Amanda joined Aiimi, a Data and AI specialist company, in September 2023 to lead and expand their Business Development. Prior to this, she retired as an elected member of Milton Keynes City Council. During her tenure as Mayor of Milton Keynes in 2022/23, Amanda visited numerous businesses, fostering alliances across various sectors, including business, charities, and community groups. She played a crucial role in helping Milton Keynes achieve city status in 2022 and welcomed HM King Charles III in February 2023 for the official reception of the Letters Patent. Amanda has a strong interest in education, particularly Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and has been a school governor at The Redway School since 2014. Additionally, she is involved in various charitable activities, serving as a Trustee of Milton Keynes Museum and volunteering for MK Hospital Charity and MK SNAP. Amanda is a Women Leaders Winner 2023 and an active member of Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership and Women In Enterprise networking group.

Judge Image

Simon Driver – Headmaster at Milton Keynes Prepartory School

Simon Driver has been a teacher for 23 years and is presently Headmaster of Milton Keynes Preparatory School and Chair of the School’s Proprietorial Body. He has been in post for 7 years. Before being Head, he held various roles at the school including Deputy Head and Director of Sport.

Simon has worked in education since completing his degree at De Montfort University in 2001.  He started his career at All Saints Catholic School in Dagenham, then returned to his home county of Northamptonshire to teach at Weavers School in Wellingborough where he became Assistant Learning Leader for Sport.

He has also been keen to support and develop teachers new to the profession and mentored numerous NQTs / ECTs. Whilst no longer directly involved in teaching sport, he still plays cricket and coaches his local U13 rugby team.

Judge Image

Gamiel Yafai – Founder & CEO of Diversity Marketplace

Gamiel Yafai is an engaging, passionate Diversity & Inclusion Strategist, CEO of a multi-award-winning DE&I Consultancy called Diversity Marketplace, proud Global Diversity Leadership Award recipient and winner of 3 Awards including ‘Business of the Year’ at the MKBAA. Author of “Demystifying Diversity” and “Yemen Proud”, Gamiel works with world-leading employers to attract diverse talent and support existing employees to realise their potential through positive, inclusive cultures. His global expertise spans D&I strategy, culture change and talent initiatives that empower organizations and people to thrive. Gamiel is also a Trustee of Women Leaders UK and a founding member of the Milton Keynes Ethnic Business Community.

Judge Image

Debbie Dymock – Founder & Owner of Northamptonshire Careers

Debbie, the founder of Northamptonshire Careers, is a celebrated CV Writer and Career Development Practitioner who collaborates with educational institutions and professional bodies across the UK to enhance career education. With qualifications in Adult Education and Career Guidance & Development, and as a founding board member of the British Association of CV Writers, Debbie works with senior executives in business and education, providing various advisory services. Her business is known for its positive, empathetic, and successful approach. Additionally, Debbie is actively involved in Wellingborough schools as a governor and an Enterprise Advisor, offering strategic guidance on school policies and governance while bridging the gap between career education and the business world. She is committed to developing the future talent pool in the careers sector and serves as an Assessor for the Career Development Institute’s level 6 Career Leaders and Career Guidance & Development qualifications.

See the Judging Process CLICK HERE