21 July 2015

Cath Kitchen learndirect award

The headteacher of Northamptonshire Hospital and Outreach Education has won a national award in recognition of her work with young learners.

Cath Kitchen was honoured with the learner support award at the learndirect Inspiration Awards 2015, which were held in London on July 7th.

Run by Northamptonshire County Council, Hospital and Outreach Education is a pupil referral unit which offers teaching support for children and young people with complex medical and mental health needs which prevent them from attending school full-time.

Extra mile

Cath was given the award by the judges in recognition of her role in helping learners to go that extra mile to develop their skills.

She said: “I am delighted to have been nominated and to have won this award, although it is really recognition of the excellent work Hospital and Outreach Education undertake and the creative way in which staff work to enable our pupil to meet their potential.

“To be recognised for ‘inspirational learner support’ is a real honour.”

Roger Peace, chief executive of learndirect, said: “Our Inspiration Awards allow us to celebrate the best of the best from across the country. We received more than 700 nominations for the awards this year so it’s a real achievement for everyone who made it to the regional or national finals.

“I heard some really inspirational stories about how learndirect has helped people change their lives for the better.”

Referral unit

The county’s Hospital and Outreach Education pupil referral unit caters for children and teenagers aged four to 18 and pupils are taught in six centres – two based at hospitals, two in-patient child and adolescent mental health units and two outreach centres – as well as in homes and schools.

In November, it was rated outstanding by Ofsted with inspectors highlighting the headteacher’s inspirational leadership, its well-planned curriculum and pupils’ attitude to learning.

The service was also shortlisted for a prestigious TES Schools Award in the Alternative Provision of the Year category earlier this year.