Swindon school wins national award for its SEND support

By Jessica Durston - 22 November 2022

  • Representatives from Westlea Primary with their award

    Representatives from Westlea Primary with their award

Swindon’s Westlea Primary School has collected the top prize for Primary Provision at nasen’s sixth annual awards.

  • A table showing nasen's 2022 award winners

    A table showing nasen's 2022 award winners

The Swindon primary school was put in the spotlight at a ceremony at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham for the nasen awards 2022.

Westlea Primary was celebrated for its remarkable work in helping their pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and learning differences thrive and achieve.

The awards are hosted by nasen – the National Association for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – and supported by sponsors Scanning Pens, who is also the awards headline sponsor, Axcis Education, and official awards media partner, Schools Week. 

nasen is the leading membership charity that aims to support children and young people with SEND to reach their full potential, whilst being a champion, friend and protector of the SEND workforce.

Scooping nasen’s award for Primary Provision, Westlea Primary School was said to have been recognised for its focus on not only providing its pupils with an education, but on readying all children for life so they are prepared for their role in society.

Sarah Sumner, Headteacher at Westlea Primary School said: On behalf of the staff and school I was thrilled that Westlea had been selected as a finalist, let alone win the category. Across the school, promoted by the dedicated work of the team, who work so hard to support all our young people, we celebrate being different and to understand that it is a strength.

“Being a pupil at Westlea, more than prepares each young person for the next stage in their education. One of the school values is 'to be kind' and this extends to promoting tolerance and diversity, by recognizing that we all have skills or talents. All of our pupils complete daily lessons and socialise with other young people who have a range of both physical and medical difference, which creates an innate understanding of tolerance and equality.”

Westlea Primary School has 310 children on roll with its proportion of pupils with SEND well above average, supporting children with high levels of medical needs even from outside the school’s catchment area.

Westlea’s dedicated team says it has developed bespoke timetables and ensured a wide variety of topics are included in the school’s curriculum to engage all pupils.

The schools dedicated team of highly trained Learning Support Assistants, two Emotional Literacy Support Assistants, and a School Counsellor is said to allow for all pupils to be supported, providing a strong commitment to inclusive practice.

Westlea School says it is proud to be part of the Brunel Academies Trust, a multi-academy trust specialising in the Special Education and Primary Education sectors.

The primary 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.

Jackie Smith MBE, CEO of Brunel Academies Trust said: "Westlea Primary is an exceptional school with amazing staff and children and is truly inclusive, a place where children learn to celebrate difference and diversity. Well done, Westlea!”

Chief Executive of nasen, Annamarie Hassall MBE said: “Westlea Primary School should be extremely proud of what they have achieved. Our judges were won over by its dedication to ensure all students have the opportunity to thrive. We especially admired Westlea’s ethos that “being different is celebrated” – an approach we warmly embrace.”

"We received an amazing number of nominations for the awards this year and it has been a great honour to recognise and reward the people who are making a real difference for SEND. We very much hope the inclusive work of our winners, who go above and beyond every day to help children and young people thrive, will inspire more great work in the sector going forward, and help strengthen our community’s sense of unity, collaboration and possibilities.”

For more information on the nasen Awards, and to find out more about the winners, individuals can visit: www.nasen.org.uk/awards or follow #nasenAwards2022

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