Suffolk education awards attract approaching 400 nominations

Thurlow Primary School head teacher Vicky Hogg, seen here celebrating a good Ofsted report, has been nominated for a Raising the Bar Award.
Thurlow Primary School head teacher Vicky Hogg, seen here celebrating a good Ofsted report, has been nominated for a Raising the Bar Award.

Over 370 of Suffolk’s best education professionals, support staff, governors, non-executives and hardworking young people have been nominated for an award to recognise their efforts.

The first ever Raising the Bar Awards, launched by Suffolk County Council, will celebrate success and endeavour as a way of sharing the best practice that is contributing to Raising the Bar. The number of nominations received has doubled in the last week.

Nominations have been received for all 12 categories. The deadline for entries is 28 February with the winners being announced on Friday, March 27.

Among the hundreds of submitted examples of educational excellence are:

Sandra Copping, Lindsey Dodsworth and Susie Norman, who run Colourbox Montessori Nursery in Newmarket.

They’ve been nominated by a parent for the Significant Contribution to Education in Suffolk award.

In particular, their work to help a young boy with severe disabilities to attend and flourish in a mainstream nursery has been praised. “I could not imagine he would be able to attend mainstream nursery,” said the parent. “After all, he can’t walk or talk and depends on carers for every aspect of daily life.

“Three years on he can now sit with minimal support, join in with nursery rhymes and engage with other children. Recently he was included in the nursery nativity play.

“He was beaming. Words falter to describe how I felt. Colourbox has gone beyond the call of duty. It is truly inspirational.” Colourbox is rated Outstanding by Ofsted.

The awards categories are:

1; Innovation in Education and Skills

2: Excellence in Achievement

3: Teaching Excellence

4: Educational Leader of the Year

5: Visionary Management

6: Governor, Trustee or Non-Executive of the Year

7: Partnership in Education (Sponsored by East of England Co-op)

8: Support Staff of the Year

9: Young Person of the Year (three awards based on age groups)

10: Business Partner of the Year Sponsored by Spring

●Volunteer of the Year Sponsored by Mark Harrod

●Significant Contribution to Education in Suffolk

The awards are open to all publicly-funded educational establishments including Early Years Foundation Stage providers through to colleges within Suffolk. Nominations can be made by anyone (teachers, support staff, governors, parents, pupils, community members) and can be self nominations or nominations of others. To make a nomination or to find out more about the criteria for each award, please visit:

Nominations close at 1pm on Friday, February 28.

Business leaders are backing the Raising the Bar Awards by agreeing to sponsor them. The East of England Co-op is this year’s headline sponsor.

There are opportunities for other businesses to get involved in the Raising the Bar Awards.

Please contact Simon Hazelgrove on 01502 726161 or for more information.