Inspirational teachers and stand-out schools were held up as beacons of excellence at a special awards ceremony.

The Swindon Education Excellence Awards 2017 were organised by Swindon Borough Council to recognise the outstanding contribution of staff and education providers throughout the borough.

The awards, which were sponsored by Zurich Municipal and held at The Marriott Hotel in Old Town, saw 43 Excellence Awards and 10 Healthy Schools Awards presented to proud school staff.

The Mayor of Swindon, Coun Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for children’s services and school attainment, Coun Fionuala Foley, and David Jones, national education manager for Zurich Municipal were on hand to give out the prizes. Wroughton Junior School Choir entertained the award winners and dignitaries with their outstanding singing before the awards ceremony got underway.

The audience also heard the inspirational story of former Olympic rower Guin Batten, representing the Youth Sports Trust, who gave a detailed account of her record-breaking effort to row across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Falmouth last summer.

The awards were split into a number of categories with eight individual teachers receiving Teacher Excellence Awards including: Amanda Thoburn (Holy Family Catholic Primary School), Laura Burchall and Tania Maggott (both from Lawn Manor Academy), Jaspreet Bansal and Ruth Farrow (both from Dorcan Academy), Lisa Murray (Grange Infant Community School), and Christine Mueller and Katrina Baxter (from Stratton Education Centre).

A host of schools were highlighted in recognition of pupil progress, good practice within schools, school achievement and school support.

There was also a category designed especially for headteachers who have made a special contribution to education in Swindon. Retiring headteachers Keith Defter (The Commonweal School), John Saunders (Highworth Warneford School) and Jane Wheatley (St Leonards CE Primary School) were all recognised as was Mags Clark the headteacher of Crowdy’s Hill School and Helen James, headteacher of the Marlborough House Adolescent Unit

Laura McMahon of Dorcan Academy scooped The TeachFirst Teacher of the Year Award and eight teachers from Nova Hreod Academy shared the Celebrating Success Award.

Coun Foley said: “The awards ceremony was a great success and it was a fitting end to the academic year. We have so much to be proud of in our schools and the awards are an opportunity for the Council to show how much we value the hard work that is going on within the education system in Swindon.

“My hat goes off to all the award winners, they were all amazing but I must pay tribute to Mags Clark, Keith Defter, John Saunders, Jane Wheatley and Helen James who received awards for their special contribution to Swindon education – they have worked tirelessly throughout their careers to help young people in our borough and their accolades are fully deserved.”

Swindon Education Excellence Awards 2017 – Winners

Swindon Pupil Progress Awards

Swindon Academy - Highest Progress 8

Seven Fields Primary School - Reading Progress

Goddard Park Academy Primary - School Reading Progress

Westrop Primary School - Maths Progress

St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School - Maths Progress

Beechcroft Infant School - Most Improved Phonics

Schools Good Practice Awards

Abbey Meads Primary School - Curriculum Innovation

Millbrook Primary School - Cultural Diversity & Community Cohesion

Oaktree Nursery & Primary School - Social Inclusion and Nurture

Oakfield Project - Inclusion

Oliver Tomkins CE Schools - Inclusion and Support for Vulnerable Pupils

Brook Field Primary School - SEND and Inclusion

Lawn Manor Academy - EAL Practice

Lawn Manor Academy - ITT, NQTs and TF

Holy Family Catholic Primary School - Support for Vulnerable Pupils

Swindon School Achievement Awards

Chiseldon Primary School - Maths (100%)

Nythe Primary School - All Subjects

Moredon Primary School - All Subjects

Lydiard Park Academy - Highest 5 A*-C

St Joseph’s Catholic College - Highest English

The Ridgeway School & 6th Form College - Highest Maths

Wanborough Primary School - Highest Phonics

Teacher Excellence Awards

Amanda Thoburn - Holy Family Catholic Primary School

Laura Burchall – Lawn Manor Academy

Tania Maggott – Lawn Manor Academy

Jaspreet Bansal - Dorcan Academy

Ruth Farrow - Dorcan Academy

Lisa Murray - Grange Infant Community School

Christine Mueller - Stratton Education Centre - EOTAS

Katrina Baxter - Stratton Education Centre - EOTAS

Special Contribution to Swindon Education

Mags Clark - Headteacher Crowdy’s Hill School

Keith Defter - Head teacher The Commonweal School

John Saunders - Headteacher Highworth Warneford School

Jane Wheatley - Headteacher St Leonards CE Primary School

Helen James - Headteacher of the Marlborough House Adolescent Unit

Swindon School Support Awards

Alison Lowe - Headteacher Even Swindon Primary School

Gary Evans - Chief Executive Officer Blue Kite Academy Trust

Sharon Peapell - Deputy Headteacher Haydonleigh Primary School

Celebrating Success - Nova Hreod Academy

Kerry Camm, Lindsey Ford, Benn Griffin, Joanne Thompson, Rebecca Sayers, Jannine Clapp, Phil , Sophie Fegan

TeachFirst Teacher of the Year Award

Laura McMahon Dorcan Academy

Healthy Schools Awards

Sugar Swaps:

Holy Family Catholic Primary School

Lethbridge Primary School

Westlea Primary School

Mental Health:

Oliver Tomkins CE Schools

Colebrook Junior School

Westlea Primary School


Lethbridge Primary School

Robert Le Kyng Primary School

Wanborough Primary School


Westlea Primary school