2023 Shortlist

Welcome to the Educate Awards shortlist announcement 2023!

After months of deliberation by our esteemed judging panel, we can finally share which schools and colleges have made this year’s shortlist. A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to enter.

The Educate Awards 2023 shortlist in full:


The Communication Award

Litherland High School
Litherland High School uses a very impressive array of communication methods, including QR codes and digital signage within the school. Strong social media campaigns and a one-stop website have been implemented to speak to the wider school community. 

Manchester Academy
Manchester Academy has more than 80% EAL students, with about 70 languages spoken. To ensure nobody is left out, it has combined the effective use of mainstream communication techniques with innovations such as website pop-ups to translate information into Arabic, Somali and Urdu. 

Maricourt High School 
Maricourt High School’s well-established communication strategy has been enhanced further by the introduction of frequent social media posts, including well-being posts. The engagement of feeder primary schools has increased by providing them with training, and class charts ensure students do not miss out on school-based opportunities.  

Ridgeway High School
There are fantastic examples of how Ridgeway High School has identified and improved communications with parents and the community, including the school’s very own magazine, which is published every half term. The school also communicates across a range of platforms and channels. 

Outstanding Commitment to the Environment

Ascent Autism Specialist College
Excellent initiatives have been taken which have delivered real change across the college and have helped students (and the wider community) to be a lot more sustainable. Ascent College’s initiatives are concisely explained, wellthought-out, and linked to the local community. 

Heswall Primary School
Heswall Primary School has made amazing progress with a series of new strategies to enhance its environmental commitment. In addition, they have shared their practice widely to allow others to progress too. The inclusion of specific plastic-based pledges, food waste reduction, and much more is brilliant.  

The Beacon CE Primary School
The Beacon CE Primary School has made some exceptional progress led by their PLT groups. It is wonderful to see these environmental measures developed by students and supported by the staff across the school.  The new measures are wide-ranging and include several fantastic concepts and ideas, which have been supplemented with external funding.  

Wright Robinson College
Some significant steps have been made at Wright Robinson College in developing environmentally friendly students, staff, and buildings at the college. A lot of time and money has been invested into the environmental projects, with a dedicated SLT member and eco champion, and has developed a large number of projects. 

Careers & Enterprise Award

Formby High School
The strong application demonstrated that students at Formby High School are introduced to CEIAG (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) and that the school identifies and facilitates opportunities that can support and assist students across the key stages. 

Hope Academy
The variety of careers and enterprise programmes showcase how Hope Academy is implementing career-related learning. The compelling entry links to the Gatsby benchmarks, which highlight student engagement and the great content from the academy. 

Ridgeway High School
Ridgway High School’s CEIAG provision was clearly defined in this gripping application. The school strongly emphasised its wholeschool programme and linked to Gatsby benchmark performance across all year groups. 

SEND Provision Award

Abbot’s Lea School 
Abbot’s Lea School has an in-house therapy team with psychotherapists, OCs and speech and language therapists. The school is progressive and innovative and is clearly championing inclusion. There is clear ambition and staff are committed to progress, growth and building a community. Overall, this was an exceptional application. 

Green Fold School
Green Fold School provides highquality and effective AAC – Alternative Augmentative Communication – for every child. Children and all staff now communicate confidently through an array of AAC. They now have two new, fully fitted sensory rooms as well as increasing access to their hydrotherapy pool and rebound suite. Each classroom is a low arousal space, and all children have their sensory needs met. 

Maple Grove School
Parent testimonies are a ringing endorsement of what Maple Grove School has achieved in just three years with its SEND provision. In the words of one mum, it has given her son back his childhood and his future, and she said she cannot thank the school enough. 

Innovative & Creative Literacy Award

Archbishop Blanch High School
Archbishop Blanch High School has an admirable collection of literacy and reading strategies. One innovation this year was the ‘Mother Tongue, Other Tongue’ project, allowing students who often feel having English as a second language is a barrier to share their rich cultural backgrounds in their mother tongue as well as in other languages. 

Gateacre School
The Wandering Words Society in Gateacre School is a group in which creativity is key and students write poetry inspired by their surroundings. One student even said they explored ‘places that felt like a different world’, which is ringing evidence that the school takes innovative and creative literacy very seriously. 

Hillside High School
The ‘Reading is Power’ framework has served as a very important foundation for literacy education in Hillside High School. The framework is evidence-informed and considers the specific needs of the school’s student cohort. A lot of time was invested in the research. 

St James’ Catholic High School 
St James’ Catholic High School’s ‘Literary Canon’ is an incredible concept offering age-appropriate, thought-provoking books tailored to each student’s reading age. The library at the school also serves as a central hub which promotes and celebrates literary events. Overall, this was a very enthralling application.

St Mary’s Catholic College
The Big Read at the college saw the whole school day changed to fit round reading, with brilliant feedback from students and a spectacular increase in literacy standards at St Mary’s Catholic College. A vocabulary presentation was used to keep track of all the vocabulary students learned. All books were voted for by students.  

Outstanding Commitment to STEM

Great Crosby Catholic Primary School
Great Crosby Catholic Primary School has a superb series of STEM activities spread across the entire school, throughout all year groups. The commitment to STEM is terrific, and the school clearly enjoys engaging the students with STEM topics. These appear captivating and overall excellent.  

Neston High School
There is a brilliant STEAM initiative at Neston High School, with powerful connections across a series of different schools. They have activities and events which cover all parts of the STEAM umbrella and have provided extensive evidence of this achievement.

Queen’s Park High School
Overall, Queen’s Park High School demonstrates an incredible commitment to STEM through the Queen’s Park STEM club, which includes a wide range of students. They clearly show outstanding engagement and ideas, including career-based STEM activities.  

Outstanding Arts in a Primary School

All Saints Catholic Primary School
All Saints Catholic Primary School had a fantastic songwriting and performance project, which included an important Eurovision element. Year 6 pupils from the school wrote a song which became the centerpiece for a project between schools in Britain and Ukraine. 

Bretherton Endowed CE Primary School
Bretherton Endowed CE Primary School has a big focus on its pupils’ own art, music and dance, with two amazing performances each yearBretherton Endowed won the Lancs choir competition, which is a demonstration of its outstanding arts, and the school also won an aural poetry competition and does special visits to art galleries. 

Kew Woods Primary School
There is a lovely, whole-school approach at Kew Woods Primary School. As well as being pupil-focused, the school has also built connections with other local schools to get involved in arts-related projects. The school has taken its pupils on many theatre trips, including to London’s West End – which was fully funded by the school. Staff are also dramatrained. 

Netherton Moss Primary School 
The arts at Netherton Moss Primary School are cross-subject and innovativeReading and writing interventions were used to create an arts project involving the whole school, so pupils could catch up on reading, writing and speaking skills that were affected by the pandemicThey also linked up with a local school. Children are at the heart of the creative process with adult intervention kept to a minimum. 

Outstanding Arts in a Secondary School

Gateacre School
A great range of arts activities at Gateacre School gives students the chance to explore their own creativity, reflect upon the wider world, collaborate with other artists to affect the wider community, and prepare to work and participate in the wider world. A varied and exciting set of activities Summer Concerts, Arts Exhibition, Eurovision, the Boat of Hope Frozen and Music Production Days.

Rainford High
A fantastic range of opportunities and career progression routes in the arts at Rainford High. School-wide productions and annual music festivals open to pupils across different year groups. From Shakespeare to theatre visits to ventriloquist workshops. Regular enrichment opportunities, including theatre and concert visits. Students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of writing competitions including Edge Hill workshops. Students often progress to LIPA or The Hammond.

The Hollins
Love that there was a series of different types of projects, working with different artists, helping to extend the pupils’ knowledge of external artists and how to consider the wider world and transform beyond the confines of The Hollins school. Students were not only experiencing and displaying external to the school, but actually changing things outside the school connecting with different parts of society and improving local areas and communities.


Community Partnership Award

Chorlton High School
Chorlton High School’s well-established community pledge has given vital, practical support to many families and individuals struggling to survive the cost-of-living crisis.

Maricourt Catholic High School
Maricourt Catholic High School has done excellent work within the local community, supporting Radio City’s Cash for Kids, toy collections for Alder Hey Hospital, Easter egg donations, participation in mental health programmes, and even volunteering at a local soup kitchen in Seel Street.

St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School
St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School has spearheaded a memorial garden, in honour of former pupil, Olivia Pratt-Korbel, who tragically lost her life, as well as a festival, ‘Pink Day’ and many other initiatives to ensure Olivia’s life, which was cut short, is an enduring force for good.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Award

Abbot’s Lea School
Abbot’s Lea’s emphasis on a whole-family approach, evident in the year-round safeguarding service and weekly coffee mornings, aimed at binding the community together, and reinforcing mutual support systems including the year-round safeguarding service, is fantastic.

Calderstones School
Calderstones School has taken innovative approaches to staff and student wellbeing. Drawing on the expertise of parents to run a series of mindful sessions for staff is an extremely creative way to link to the community in a meaningful way. The Teacher Appreciation Week, which allows students to write a message of appreciation to one member of staff, is a lovely idea.

St Damian’s Roman Catholic Science College
The St Damian’s Way is fully enshrined within the school and the wider community understands what it means. By providing a comprehensive support service, pupils feel safe and happy at school

St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School
The need for and the benefits of positive HWB are fully understood by everyone – pupils, staff, and families at St Elizabeth’s. Everyone has a part to play in creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment.

Stockport Academy
Stockport Academy evidenced a strong focus on the wellbeing of staff through practical adjustment, including a reduced number of meetings each half term, reduced written reports and family time opportunities.


Outstanding Commitment to Sport in a Primary School

Bedford Drive Primary School
Bedford Drive Primary School has made a tremendous effort to forge relationships with established teams in various sports to expose children, at a young age, to sports professionals – a fantastic way of providing good role models for students. Great extra-curricular options are available at no charge, making it very accessible for all pupils and resulting in high attendance. Evidence of excellent sports participation all year round with both pupils and teachers getting involved, allowing pupils and teachers to form healthy relationships outside of the classroom.

St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School
A really strong application from St Elizabeth’s that details the variety of activities included with the curriculum and the direct benefit to pupils. Excellent participation in local competitions with fantastic engagement within their promoted activities. Brilliant to see a conscious effort to target the least active pupils to further boost engagement in sports. The school emphasises the benefits of physical activity on pupils’ mental health and wellbeing, including the introduction of several initiatives from talks with role models to mindfulness weeks.

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
The submission clearly demonstrated St Joseph’s commitment to incorporating sporting activities into everyday school life, with an evident focus on the benefits for pupils. An extremely extensive menu of sporting activities for pupils to participate in – opening avenues for participation and inclusivity for pupils that may not have otherwise been interested in sport, including introducing quidditch as a school sport. Fantastic social media presence that showcases brilliant sporting activities and achievements which further encourage engagement. The core focus on the benefits of physical activity on pupils’ mental health and wellbeing is superb. The sensory room and ‘safe place’ initiatives further demonstrate this commitment.

Outstanding Commitment to Sport in a Secondary School

Cowley International College
Cowley International College has a lot of engagement with the community and has forged partnerships with local sporting institutes/clubs, allowing students to use more facilities outside of school. The school also has an extensive extra-curricular programme and offers lots of fantastic opportunities for their students to excel in their chosen sport.

Rainford High
An extremely strong submission demonstrating the extensive curriculum and the variety of extra-curricular opportunities available. Rainford High really emphasised the sense of inclusivity within the curriculum – enabling sports participation for all abilities and those with disabilities. An excellent sporting scholarship programme is in place to enable students with the ability to pursue careers at an elite level.

Rainhill High School
A strong application from Rainhill High School which clearly demonstrates the school’s commitment to ensuring social mobility to support all Pupil Premium students or those who may have financial or social barriers to engaging in sport.

St Peter’s Catholic High School
Very inspiring to read about Jack (‘Joining Jack’), a Year 10 pupil with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, who serves as the head coach of the Year 8 rugby team. His leadership has been instrumental in the team’s progress and success, contributing to him receiving recognition by way of an invite to the King’s Coronation, an embodiment of the profound impact sports can have on individuals, irrespective of their circumstances. Alongside encouraging sport for all in school, St Peter’s maintains strong ties with local amateur and professional clubs.

Leadership Team of the Year

Ascent Autism Specialist College
There has been a concerted push by Ascent College to recruit autistic staff which is admirable. This year, one teacher and two TSAs have been employed and utilising agreed workplace adjustments (as part of their probationary period) to support and act as role models for the college’s young people and develop the curricula even more effectively.

Cardinal Langley RC High School
The leadership team at Cardinal Langley RC High School makes a significant impact on the lives of young people both within the school and across the education system. The school is at the heart of the community. In their most recent parent survey, 100% of parents said they would recommend the school to other families, a fantastic validation of the school’s leadership.

Green Fold School
A culture of collaborating with other professionals in SEND providing evidence and research-led approaches and participating in ongoing CPD has ensured strong pupil outcomes. The leadership team at Green Fold School are all involved in activities, headteacher Gary Anders is the Regional Lead for the Autism Education Trust and deputy headteacher Lisa Walker, who is the lead trainer, have together trained over 1000 practitioners in understanding autism in 2022/23, across the Greater Manchester Region.

Hillside High School
A brilliant application from Hillside High School showcasing the great links built with the local community & increase in staff morale, CPD, academia and student satisfaction. Showcased with a personal approach, video of school core values and statistics. This truly showcases the fantastic work that can happen in a school when you focus on building community links and developing young people.

Teacher of the Year

Catherine Chapman, Gateacre School
As well as the students, Catherine Chapman from Gateacre School supports the staff just as much. She is a strong advocate of LGBTQ+, and pupils love to come in and let her know what they’ve been up to over the weekend, usually coming into school to show her what medals or trophies they have won, so she can parade them around the school to showcase their work.

Jonathan Miller, Standish Community High School
Staff at Standish Community High School speak of Jonathan Miller’s dedication to the students and the school, but also of his compassion and empathy for them as colleagues. Whether it is senior leaders, ECTs or visiting supply teachers, Jonathan always greets them personally and takes the time to see how their day has gone. This is a testament to Jonathan as a person and how he takes the time to connect with so many people in so many different roles.

Stephen Hill, St Joseph’s Primary School
Stephen Hill from St Joseph’s Primary School has inspired his colleagues and students. The application demonstrates his one-of-a-kind nature with the message “They threw away the mould when Stephen was made, and I doubt we will ever see the likes of him again”. Stephen is inspirational and makes learning a pleasure. Just last June, he had his first book published, ‘What’s Next Sir’ with the proceeds going to charity.

School Support Star of the Year

Jeanette Horrocks, Green Fold School
Jeanette, Green Fold School, works extremely hard to coordinate support from a range of services, including the Early Help Network to ensure children are supported at home and in school. Over the years, Jeanette has established a strong network of professional links and supported families in emergency situations. Her unique approach was even recognised by Bolton’s Safeguarding in Education Team.

Kate Watt, Ellesmere Port C of E College
Kate, Ellesmere Port C of E College, is considered to be the heart and soul of the school, playing a key role in the college’s attendance strategy and ensuring that the hardest-to-reach children attend school. Throughout COVID, she worked tirelessly to support the local community, despite being classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’ herself.

Michaela Jinks, St Damian’s
Michaela, St Damian’s, is a truly selfless individual and epitomises all that is great about the school’s community values. A staff Wellbeing Champion and a fundraiser for multiple charities, she was awarded the ‘Shining Star’ Award’ from Willow Wood Hospice for her fundraising and was a special guest at a Macmillan event.

Philip McGowan, Holy Rosary
Phil, Holy Rosary, is an inspirational support. His day is incredibly varied from sitting in cars outside school coaxing anxious children first thing in the morning, letting pupils in a meltdown know they are safe and cared for, DJing for the school disco, organising events, and more. Numerous stressed-out parents call out for him and frequently share how amazing he is.

Most Inspirational Alternative Provision

Employability Solutions Ltd
All profits are reinvested back into improving student health and wellbeing, believing that education is a route out of poverty. An inspirational provision, Employability Solutions Ltd has provided 76,000+ hot and healthy meals to young people and vulnerable residents in the community, re-invested £4.3m into social enterprise start-ups and collaborations, created 10,000 hours of volunteering opportunities, and also delivered 8,000+ qualifications that support the employability of a young person, providing high—level support and successfully helping students progress into the world of work.

Notre Dame Catholic College
The Provision at Notre Dame has grown incredibly in this past academic year, with all staff having a background in autism and SEND, creating a highly supportive and evidence-based learning experience for pupils. Pupils have instant access to sensory equipment, a state-of-the-art sensory room and huge support from external agencies for therapies and more.

Sandbach School
The Lodge at Sandbach has a range of impactful programmes including a reset one for KS3 children, a full-year lodge programme for Year 11 students failing within mainstream, and more. In September 2021, they took on an additional challenge of educating the children of Afghanistan refugees who were temporarily housed in a local hotel.

Most Inspirational Sixth Form & College

Ascent Autism Specialist College
Ascent Autism College is a beacon of hope, consistently breaking down barriers for its students, driven by an unwavering passion. The college is successfully developing an exceptionally high number of great leaders who are also helping to inspire young people in other schools and colleges.

Birkenhead Sixth Form College
Birkenhead Sixth Form College draws inspiration from science and evidence, evident in its remarkable success, marked by increasing A level achievements. Through its unwavering commitment to providing opportunities to every young person, it serves as a shining example for social mobility, collecting numerous accolades and truly standing out for its impactful work.

Myerscough College & University
Myerscough College has made sustainability a central focus this year, achieving a remarkable 31% reduction in emissions, despite significant redevelopment efforts. They’ve also demonstrated their commitment to environmental conservation by planting thousands of trees, engaging in biodiversity research, and leading a multi-million-pound project to develop skills related to carbon reduction in collaboration with The Lancashire Colleges.

St John Bosco Arts College
St John Bosco Sixth Form is fostering curiosity and critical thinking in its students, as well as the college’s values of love, faith, respect, and hope. It focuses on forming genuine connections with students and preparing them for life, not just exams, making them more than just a sixth form college – it’s a family.

Most Inspirational Secondary School

Chorlton High School
The inspirational Chorlton High School is multi-cultural and economically diverse. Their entry was very well-presented and showcased the focus that they put on social involvement and acceptance.

Ellesmere Port C of E College
Ellesmere Port C of E College received its first ever Good Ofsted in 2023 and was said to have a good focus on values and SEND as part of a CoE inspection. The college’s transformation and focus on improvement and opportunities is excellent.

Gateacre School
At Gateacre, there is a major focus on the importance of mental health and wellbeing in addition to areas like the arts. Student involvement in projects like the Boat of Hope campaign and even Eurovision is fantastic.

Maricourt Catholic High School
Maricourt’s entry detailed post-pandemic behaviour and the determination and amazing efforts made by staff to reset the school. Support for students surrounding SEND, LGBTQ+, self-esteem and more is key at Maricourt.

Rainford High
There is heavy involvement in the drama and arts at Rainford High, along with participation in diversity training. The school organises sports and WW1 battlefield trips and regularly supports local charities, recently having a visit from Dave Kelly of Daisy.

St Damian’s Roman Catholic Science College
The entry from St Damian’s provided demonstrable outcomes awards, including the Excellence in Pupil Development (EPDA) Award, Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM), BIG Award for Excellence in Challenging Bullying, and more. Amazing!

Most Inspirational Primary School

Eldon Primary School
Eldon has some amazingly innovatively work in a deprived area. The Eldon house is used to develop personal skills amongst pupils through simple experiences for them to replicate at home, like reading, playing board games and completing household chores.

Green Fold School
Green Fold School ensures that the children are always immersed in a communication-rich environment and achieves this by upskilling all of its staff, not just classroom-based staff. The school also runs ‘Coffee & Conversation’ to bring together families every half term.

Riverside Primary School
The caring team at Riverside ensure that every child enjoys a wide range of enchanting childhood experiences full of awe and wonder. The school utilises funding from The Forgotten 40 INEOS project as well as a research scholarship to provide many opportunities.

St Peter’s CE Primary
St Peter’s CE Primary have achieved amazing things in a challenging environment. The school has a dedication to a broad, rich curriculum with priority given to the arts, forming brilliant external partnerships and ensuring that children are given opportunities to develop creative skills.

St Wilfrid’s Church of England
St Wilfrid’s emphasises the importance of cultural capital through highly meaningful enrichment opportunities and extracurricular activities. They have provided an amazing array of rich and varied   learning experiences which will create memories and inspire pupils.

Whitefield Primary
In the Whitefield family there are no outsiders, everyone belongs! The school puts an important focus on inclusion and was awarded the Nasen Award for Primary Inclusion and they have also undertaken a significant 2-year project funded by SHINE to develop and deliver parental training on supporting early years children.

WOW Recognition Award

Alt Bridge School
The fantastic pupils at Alt Bridge engaged in a project with Sandfield Park School called the Sanctuary and Unity Through Song Project which took them to the main stage during Eurovision 2023. This project gave pupils the experience of a lifetime and a short medley of song-based material which blended the song heritage of Liverpool and Ukraine was produced.

Beech Hall School
The level of commitment shown to train and be in a condition whereby you can attempt a channel swim is an epic achievement! Beech Hall’s successful crossing appears to have inspired many more pupils to take up swimming with two more teams attempting the Channel challenge and many other swimmers taking part in events to raise money for Mencap.

Wade Deacon High School
Wade Deacon organised an inspiring wrestling event to make the dreams of a child within their setting, Kyle, come true whilst also providing an absolutely amazing experience for the whole school community and raising money for their food bank. The event was covered by BBC Northwest and had a heartwarming impact on many people.