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nasen Award 2023 winners announced!

nasen Award 2023 winners announced!

16 recipients celebrated for transforming the lives of children and young people with SEND and learning differences

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 ceremony, held at the Grand Hotel Birmingham on Friday (6th October 2023), was hosted by nasen – the National Association for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – and supported by official media sponsors, tes. nasen is a charitable membership organisation that exists to support and champion those working with, and for, children and young people with SEND and learning differences.

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:

Alternative Provision of the Year Award, sponsored by Sensational TutorsChadsgrove School Support Services – Pathways Team, Bromsgrove
Changemaker of the Year, sponsored by Rockerbox NewsHannah Walton, One/Third Project, West Midlands
Co-production Initiative of the Year, sponsored by The Seashell TrustEmily Rushton and BHJS Neurodiversity Champions, Bromley
Early Years Provision of the Year, sponsored by Nursery WorldUniversity of Bradford Nursery, Bradford
Further Education (FE) Provision, sponsored by Seashell TrustDerwen College, Derwen, Shropshire
Innovation in the Field of Inclusion, sponsored by ConceroHighland Deaf Education Services, Scotland
The International Provision of the Year Award, sponsored by IDLNeurodiversity at Work Research Centre, Thailand
Leader or Leadership Team of the Year Award, sponsored by National Education UnionAndrew Poole, Everton Free School, Liverpool
Primary Provision of the Year, sponsored by Axcis EducationSir Alex Fleming Primary School, Telford
Secondary Provision of the Year, sponsored by Secondary Language LinkThe Ruth Gorse Academy, Leeds
Specialist Provision of the Year, sponsored by The Edwin GroupNHS England Choices College, Yorkshire
Support Practitioner of the Year, sponsored by Whole School SENDRob Carroll, Barnet and Southgate College, Barnet
Teacher of the Year Award, sponsored by Scanning PensGary Whall, formerly of Bristnall Hall Academy, Oldbury, Sandwell
The David Ryan Award for Positive Media Impact– in honour of late nasen trustee, David Ryan, sponsored by nasen ConnectGeorgina Durrant, Author and Podcaster, Cheshire
Young Advocate of the Year (aged 16 and under), sponsored by Cosmo by FilisiaFinn Anderson-Hendra, Dwight School, London
Young Advocate of the Year (aged 17 and over), sponsored by Christie and CoMaham Butt, Hopwood Hall College, Manchester
nasen Awards 2023 winners

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, and to find out more about the winners, visit: or follow #nasenAwards2023

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