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Young Person of the year Jonathan Middleditch with awards host David Baddiel.Innovation and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s communication development were celebrated at the 2015 Shine a Light Awards ceremony in September. The Awards, organised by Pearson in partnership with The Communication Trust, were hosted by comedian David Baddiel at Pearson’s London headquarters.

Now in their fourth year, the Awards honour individuals, teams, campaigns, communication-friendly settings and communities that have excelled in their support of children and young people’s communication, particularly for those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

A number of individuals received awards, including 17-year-old Jonathan Middleditch from Surrey, who was the recipient of the Young Person of the Year Award, and Bev Crisp from Yorkshire who took home the Communication Champion Award.  

Jonathan, a pupil at Moor House School and College, was diagnosed with severe specific language impairment, dyspraxia, dyslexia and dyscalculia, resulting in unintelligible speech. He has achieved two GCSEs and gained a place on an agriculture course at a mainstream college. 

Jonathan became an integral part of the School’s successful bid to for a £90,000 grant to develop a specialist system to enable other pupils to access support. 

Bev Crisp from Whitby and Moors Children’s Centre was acknowledged for her efforts, working in her spare time, to develop an early-years intervention programme called Building Blocks for Language.

Aerodrome Primary Academy in Croydon was named Primary School of the Year, with judges praising its whole-school approach to communication in which all members of staff, from the headteacher to the caretaker, have a strong understanding of speech, language and communication development.

The award for Secondary School/College of the Year went to Hampstead School in London for its commitment to SLCN across the whole school.

“We have seen examples of children and young people with SLCN being supported by some truly remarkable individuals and groups”, said Chris Hall, Director of Clinical Assessment at Pearson.

Praising the winners and highly commended finalists, Communication Trust Director Anne Fox said their work “will help inspire and motivate people right across the country”.

Holy Trinity Primary School in Yorkshire received the Communication Commitment School of the Year Award, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust were awarded the Community Friendly Award, and I CAN’s Talk About Talk programme was recognised for SLCN Innovation.

“In these times of cut backs and shrinking budgets, the Shine a Light Awards remind us just what can be achieved when best practice and innovation are given the opportunity to thrive”, said SEN Magazine Editor Peter Sutcliffe, who chaired one of the judging panels.

Lord David Ramsbotham was awarded the Pearson Outstanding Achievement Award for his “transformational impact on SLCN” and activity related to the Children and Families Act. 

The full list of winners and highly commended finalists is:



Highly Commended

Highly Commended

Pearson Outstanding Achievement Award

Lord David Ramsbotham GCB CBE



Early Years Setting of the Year Award

Robert Mellors Primary and Nursery School Foundation Unit, Nottingham

Bambini Childcare Ltd, Bedworth, Warwickshire


Primary School of the Year

Aerodrome Primary Academy, Croydon

John Ruskin Language Unit, John Ruskin Primary School, Southwark, London

Lark Hall Primary School,
Clapham, London

Secondary School/ College of the Year Award

Hampstead School, London

St Marylebone CE Bridge
School, Westminster,

Peacehaven Community
School, Peacehaven, East

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Award

Woodlands School,
Leatherhead, Surrey



Community Friendly Award

Talk About Team, Norfolk Community Health
and Care NHS Trust,
Norwich, Norfolk



SLCN Innovation Award

I CAN’s Talk About Talk programme, London

County Durham Youth Offending Service, Durham

Talk About Team, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, Norwich, Norfolk

Communication Champion Award

Bev Crisp, Whitby & Moors Children Centre, North Yorkshire

Cordula Hastings, Charles Warren Academy, Milton Keynes


Young Person of the Year

Jonathan Middleditch, Moor House School and College (Suffolk)

James Curtis, London – AVUK


Communication Commitment School of the Year Award

Holy Trinity Primary School, Halifax, Yorkshire

Longmoor Community Primary School, Liverpool

Fonthill Primary, Bristol

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