Staff from West Lakes Academy in Egremont attended the Independent Academies’ Association’s ‘Annual Best Practice Awards’ in London on Thursday night, after being named a finalist for a national education award.

The IAA’s ‘Best Practice Awards’ aim to celebrate transformational, original and creative practice across the Academies Programme. West Lakes Academy’s innovative approaches and dedication to supporting and encouraging students who are under achieving or presenting challenging behaviour was highly commended by the judges. This meant that the Academy was shortlisted to the final three schools across the UK, for the ‘Inspired Approaches to Inclusion Award.’

Inclusion Manager, Claire Williamson and Behavioural Support Assistant Lesley Fell represented the Academy at the prestigious black tie awards dinner in London on Thursday evening. Claire commented, “We felt incredibly proud that our work in inclusion has been recognised and that we were able to represent West Lakes Academy at the IAA national awards ceremony.”

Lesley added, “We really enjoyed the evening, we had the chance to meet lots of inspiring educators from all other the country. It was really interesting to hear what other academies are doing to make their schools inclusive. Listening to music students from the renowned BRIT School perform was amazing; they are very talented young people.”

Assistant Principal, Guy Short is incredibly proud of Claire and Lesley’s achievement. He said, “We are thrilled that the hard work of the staff in our Inclusion Centre has been recognised nationally. Claire and Lesley are talented and dedicated professionals who always do their very best for the pupils they work with. The judges rightly recognised the expertise, care and attention to detail that goes into tailoring individual programmes that support the reintegration of pupils into mainstream education.

I was very pleased to hear that Claire and Lesley had been shortlisted for their work in the Inclusion Centre, as were the pupils themselves, who appreciate the time and effort put into helping them make the most of their time at the Academy.