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Holmwood named Special School of the Year for second year running

Children and young people

Friday, 08 March 2024
Teachers and children with the award at Holmwood

A Middlesbrough school is celebrating after landing a prestigious national award for the second year in a row.

Holmwood School was named Special School of the Year 2023/24 at this year’s Prestige Awards.

In their citation the judges highlighted the school’s ‘calm, positive and caring atmosphere’ which helps pupils make the most of their time at Holmwood.

They continue: “The senior leadership team have built a fantastic reputation based upon an ethos which asserts everyone is entitled to a broad and relevant curriculum that helps pupils achieve and grants everyone access to learning.

“Regarded as a centre of excellence, an education at Holmwood School has seen many of their alumni return to mainstream education, post-16 institutions and universities, offering them more opportunities.”

Headteacher Dennis Ley collected the award at a special ceremony at Darlington’s Blackwell Grange Hotel.

Mr Ley said: “It is an honour to win this award for the second year in a row, we would like to thank all of our parents and carers for their support, and I would like to thank our staff for their dedication and hard work.

“The education of children with special needs and social, emotional and mental health difficulties is such a national concern.

“However, with the correct ethos and high expectations these children can overcome any barrier and flourish in their education. “

The Saltersgill Avenue school provides an inclusive environment for pupils aged four to 11 with a wide range of conditions, syndromes and disorders including social, emotional and mental health difficulties, attention deficit, hyper activity and oppositional defiance and autism.

Holmwood is an Attachment and Trauma Sensitive School that foster a culture of compassion and nurture.

Councillor Philippa Storey, Middlesbrough Deputy Mayor and Executive member for Culture & Education, said: “What a fantastic achievement for a truly special school.

“Holmwood is a safe, nurturing and caring environment that ensures all those who attend get the best possible start in life, and make the most of their potential.

“This richly deserved recognition – for a second year running is - a testament to the incredible, tireless work of Dennis Ley and his team of dedicated professionals.”