TODAY we reveal the people and places that have come top of the class in the first Lancashire Telegraph Schools Awards.

More than 350 entries were received from all over East Lancashire putting forward heads, teachers, pupils, schools and other members of staff or volunteer helpers for honours in 10 categories.

Judging panels had the tough task of selecting the best from an unexpectedly large field and it was not easy to pick single winners.

Lancashire Telegraph editor Kevin Young said: “Since this was a first for us we did not know how teachers, parents and pupils would respond to the awards but it is clear that they have been received with great enthusiasm.

“We are delighted to be able to shine this spotlight on all the positive happenings in our schools and look forward to these awards becoming a regular part of East Lancashire’s academic year.

“We would also like to thank all the sponsors for enabling us to make them happen.”


The full list of winners is:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by North Lancs Training Group), Frances Clements, 64, who teaches at St Thomas’s CE Primary School, Blackburn.
  • Inspirational Teacher of the Year (sponsored by BAE Systems), Denise Easton, who is employed by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to teach young patients at Royal Blackburn Hospital’s children’s ward.
  • Unsung Hero of the Year (sponsored by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council), Simon Grime, sports co-ordinator at Wellfield Methodist and Anglican Church School, Burnley.
  • Primary Pupil of the Year (sponsored by Funda), Joseph Pim of Shadsworth Junior School, Blackburn.
  • Primary Headteacher of the Year (sponsored by Key Stage Teacher Supply), Jacquie Clarke of Hapton CE/Methodist Primary School.
  • Secondary Pupil of the Year (sponsored by Nelson and Colne College), Sonny Ashworth of Alder Grange Community, Technology School and Sixth Form, Rawtenstall.
  • Secondary Headteacher of the Year (sponsored by Accrington and Rossendale College), Richard Varey of Blessed Trinity RC College, Burnley.
  • Primary School of the Year (sponsored by First Class Learning), Peel Park Primary School, Accrington.
  • Special School of the Year (sponsored by the School of Sign Language), Broadfield Specialist School, Oswaldtwistle.
  • Secondary School of the Year (sponsored by Blackburn College), Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School, Blackburn.

Sir Bill Taylor, chairman of both Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen, and the governors of Blackburn College, and a former leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, who was a judge, said: “This was a bold initiative by the Lancashire Telegraph and it has clearly struck a chord with many of our schools where a lot of dedicated staff demonstrate a high level of commitment to their pupils.”