LiveLive Blog: The Argus Youth in Action Education Awards

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Last updated

This live event has finished


  • 51 nominees shortlisted in 17 different categories from scores of submissions
  • Live awards ceremony taking place now at the American Express Community Stadium
  • Reporter Ben Leo brings you live updates from the event including winners, pictures and news
  • Tweet and follow the action using #YIAawards


That's it from me on the live blog. Catch tomorrow's Argus for more information and pictures on the event - and don't miss Wednesday's Youth in Action supplement only in the paper.

Congratulations to all nominees and winners - and we'll see you next year for our second Youth in Action Education Awards.


Tomorrow in The Argus, we'll be covering the event.

There is also extensive coverage of the awards in Wednesday's paper, where you can find the Youth in Action supplement.


He thanks all the sponsors... the entrants... and The Argus team.


That's the end of the awards...

Michael Beard, editor of The Argus, said: "Pretty incredible, wasn't it?"



The winner of the big one is....

Patcham High School!

The school was nominated by Mrs Whitington, who had this to say:

"Our son is autistic which means there is developmental delay in his social abilities and understanding.

"We live in Hangleton so Patcham is not our local school. It was a risk in a way but a wonderful one, atlhough he will always be autistic and suffer from anxiety the school have cared and nurtured h im all the way, nothing has eve rbeen a problem.

"You e-mail a teacher, they respond, they listen and discuss things with you and your child to get the best outcome, they differentiate for the thing he can't cope with."


Next is school of the year, our final category. This is sponsored by Spofforths.

The nominees are:

Patcham High School (Brighton)

St Mary's School (Horam)

West Blatchington High School (Brighton)


"I'm so shocked. I want to thank that guy over there, my dad, and my friend Grace. Plus my friends and family for all their help."

Good luck at McLaren - what an opportunity...


The winner is:

Anthony Booth of City College.

Anthony was quite shy and reserved when he first startedcollege. His struggles at school seriously knocked his confidence.

His tutor said: "To be effectively be given the impression that you're not good enough and won't amount to anything is hard for anyone, let alone a shy dyslexxic teenager, so Anthony had some serious challenges and barriers to overcome to start moving forward in his educaiton."

Anthony's natural flair for motor mechanics has seen him approached by Formula One team McLaren who are looking to take him on as a trainee mechanic.


The next award is for Pupil of the Year, sponsored by Northbrook College.

The nominees are:

Leila Tasher

Anthony Booth

Alicia Jones






The winner is:

Rachel Congreve of Brighton Aldridge Community Academy.

The school is in the top 5% in its category for English GCSE.

Rachel started at Falmer High School in September 2009 as an Advanced Skills Teacher in English.

In 2010, when Falmer High became BACA, Rachel was promoted to director of learning for English. In 2013 she moved up to assistant senior manager for teaching and learning, months later finally joining thge senior leadership team as an assistant vice principal.


Next award is for Outstanding Contribution to Education in Sussex, sponsored by the University of Brighton.

The nominees are:

Rachel Congreve

Richard Boyle

Steve Wilkins


He said: "I'm a bit overwhelmed. I'd like to thank the staff at my college and everyone for supporting me."


The winner is:

Jesse Cooper!

An inspiring student who has Cerebral Palsy which affects his hands and legs. When he started at City College  he was only able to walk with crutches and missed a lot of school.

He took a diploma in acting training, despite his mobility and balance issues and the fact he wasn't able to physically read or write.

But he kept pushing himself and by the end of his first year he took a very full role, and received Distinction in Steven Berkoff's The Trial - full on physical theatre based on developing and using mime skills.



The next award is the Against all odds prize.

The finalists are:

Sam Hickman

Renzzo De Souza

Jesse Cooper


The next award is the Against all odds prize.

The finalists are:

Sam Hickman

Renzzo De Souza

Jesse Cooper


Impressive credentials from the winner there...


And the winner is:

Ellie Warner!

Ellie is jetting off to Beijing next month after being selected to represent the UK at a language competition.

Burgess Hill School for Girls pupil Ellie qualified for the second round of the International Linguistics Olympiad 2014.

With about 3,000 students gunning for a place in the next round held at Liverpool Hope University, only the top 16 progressed to the third round where she took part in activities as well as sitting more papers in Swahili, Hungarian and other languages.

She has an offer to read Chinese Studies at Cambridge's Clare College in September.


Nominees are:

Ellie Warner

Ellie Cox

Jessica Hall


Next is the award for Academic achivement of the year, sponsored by the University of Sussex.


St Wilfrid's!

Children from the school treated residents of Corbett Court to a singing celebration of carols.

Julie, sales and marketing director at the school, said she valued the sense of community and the residents enjoyed seeing younger generations treating them to a "delightful concert."


Gareth Davies comes back on stage present the award... and the winner is...


The next award is for Community school of the year, sponsored by Youth in Action.

The nominees are:

Brighton Aldridge Community Acadeny

St Wilfrid's Catholic Primary School

Patcham High School



The winner is:

Dorothy Stringer School!

Eve Bellers, from the school, said: "Our school has a link school called Macrosec High School in the country and we fundraised throughout the year to send two brothers there.

"We visited the school and met the children. Every evening we had a reflection period where we talked about religion and society and what lessons we would take back with us to Brighton."


I'm a former Worthing High Pupil myself so fingers crossed for the South Farm Road establishment... But all the trips sound amazing to be fair.


The nominees are:

Dorothy Stringer School - a trip to Ghana

Cardinal Newman School - a trip to the Alps

Angmering School and Worthing High School -a trip to India


Next up is school excursion of the year, sponsored by The Argus card...



Daphne Jackson!

Affectionately nicknamed Daff thanks to the pupils, Daphne is at the front desk at Blachington Mill School for every breakfast, break and lunch.

She works in her holidays off her own back and the school kitchen relies very heavily on her.


The winner is...


The nominees are:

Niki Bunce

Daphne Jackson

Alison Evans


Next up is Dinner lady of the year, sponsored by Donatello's


Here is Gareth's selfie from earlier..


The winner is:

Brighton Aldridge Community Academy!

After a number of facelifts, BACA seems to have landed on its feet - and now the only way is up.

After building on the former old Falmer High School site, BACA has raised the standards, progress, achievement, community involvement, morale and a variety of other characteristics to an incredible degree in the last year.

BACA has taken a site with less than stellar reputation and turned it aruond.


The nominees are:

Brighton Alridge Community Academy

Westy Blatchington Primary School

Meeching Valley Primary School


Next up is Most improved school of the year, sponsored by Get Revising.


And the winner is...

James Fox!

James has had an outstanding impact on PACA since joining in 2013.

Named in the top 10 improved schools in the country after a 21% rise in GCSE results, with 60% students gaining 5 A*- C grades in 2013 - up from 39% in 2012.

He recently opened a brand new £12.7 million campus building.


The next award is for Headteacher of the year, sponsored by Hays Education... The nominees are

James Fox

Dylan Davies

Peter Newbold


And the winner is:

Stuart Townsend!


The nominees are:

Lindsay McGill

Sue James

Stuart Townsend


Sorry for the lack of activity, I had to present the Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by the University of Chichester...


The winner is:

Elaine Soudain!

She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty in her roleas a mentor at Bevendean Primary School

She provides children with a safe and caring person to turn to with any worries ranging from simple school related issues to very complex personal situations.



The nominees are;

Di Bonner

Sharon Holt

Elaine Soudain


The next award is for Non teaching member of staff, sponsored by


And the winner is...

Emily Carey!

Emily already has a bulging performing CV at the age of just 10. In the last two years she has performed in Shrek the Musical in London and in the award-winning Sound of Music at Regents Park Open Air Theatre.

She won a national award singing competition and was askedto sing at the Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in April.

She is down to earth, showing it is possible for a regular little girl to dream of a big future.


The next award is for Musical achivement of the year, sponsored by Worthing Theatres.

The nominees are:

Lily Sitzia
Emily Carey

Carl Parsons


Chris said: "I feel great. Thanks to everyone for making my job enjoyable every day."


And the winner is:

Chris Hurcomb!

Chris is responsible for setting up programmes for 23 students who currently access the Beacon Support Unit, which caters for students struggling with low self-esteem and those with special needs at  Brighton Aldridge Community Academy.

He supports staff to ensure that the students have the correct work and tracks their behaviour so they are making progress and accepting responsibility for their actions in class.


The next award is for Teaching assistant of the year, sponsored by AVT Ltd

The nominees are:

Louise Plumstead

Lisa Beresford

Chris Hurcomb


And the winner is...

Qasim Haque!

Qasim, a science teacher, had independently made 6 comprehensive GCSE revision guides for his calss. Each book contains education vidoes narrated by himself fully explaining how to work things out.


The nominees are:

Naomi Smith

Qasim Haque

Chris De Britt


The next award is for Stem teacher of the year, sponsored by B&W group.


He said: "Thanks for my family for taking me to training everywhere."


and the winner is...

Matthew Smith!

Matthew is the currrent Susex under 15 long jump and high jump champion and current Sussex under 17 indoor long jump and high jump champion.

He also smashed last year's long jump record held at Blatchington Mill School for year 9 boys. Away from the track, he strives to be an inspiration to his friends and other pupils at the school.

On the track, he is a dedicated member ofr Brighton and HoveAthletics Club and won Sports Personality of the Year 2013 at both the atletics club and the school.


The next award is: Sports person of the year, sponsored by Brighton and Hove Albion.

The nominees are:

Stephen Ferroni

Matthew Smith

Abby-Louise Rocky


Jasmine Pearce!

Budding producer Jasmine saw her creation come to life on stage after she wrote, directed and produced a play - all at the age of 13.

She produced Hartford Academy - a play about two siblings forced to attend a boarding school after their mother's death - and all profits were given to the Rockinghorse Appeal.


The award, presented by Argus group editor Michael Beard, goes to...


Here's the first award... Charitable achievement of the year.

The nominees are:

Jasmine Pearce of Varndean School

Brighton College Prep School

Cardinal Newman School



SH: "You're all winners just by being in the room."


Gareth welcomes on stage today's host Sarah Hopwood


Gareth welcomes on stage today's host Sarah Hopwood


Gareth takes an on-stage selfie to kick off the #YIAawards hashtag... 

Feel free to tweet us your pictures and comments throughout the cermony


Reporter Gareth Davies take to the stage.

"I'm the man lucky enough to write the Youth in Action supplement every week."


Dawn Sweeney: "Youth in Action is published every Wednesday in The Argus. It's a celebration of what's going on in the classrooms and sport fields at schools across Sussex.

"These awards are an extension of that celebration."


Dawn Sweeney: "Huge thanks to American Express to the commitment to these awards and for letting us use this great stadium to host the ceremony."


Dawn Sweeney: "What an awesome performance from the Theatre Workshop"


Managing director of The Argus Dawn Sweeney takes to the stage...


This afternoon is about celebrating the great achievements of pupils, teachers and schools across Sussex.

The choir have just finished their set - which was great.

They are leaving the stage to massive applause, and now the ceremony will begin.


Reporter Gareth Davies is loving the Snow Patrol ballad.

He has been rehearsing his lines ahead of taking the stage to present part of the show.

The Argus:


Snow Patrol and Chasing Cars next...


The Argus:


We kick off with a performance from the talented Theatre Workshop choir... Rains Down in Africa is going down a treat.


And here it is now as hundreds of people stream in. We're due to start in the next ten minutes or so.

The Argus:


Follow live Tweet updates using the #YIAawards hashtag.

Here's how the room looked a few hours ago...

The Argus:


This afternoon we'll be presenting awards in the following categories:

Charitable achievement of the year - sponsored by The Argus Appeal

Sports person of the year - sponsored by Brighton and Hove Albion

Stem teacher of the year - sponsored by B&W group

Teaching assistant of the year - sponsored by AVT Ltd

Musical achievement of the year - sponsored by Worthing Theatres

Non teaching member of staff - sponsored by

Teacher of the year - sponsored by Chichester University

Headteacher of the year - sponsored by Hays Education

Most improved school of the year - sponsored by Get Revising

Dinner lady of the year - sponsored by Donatello's

Excursion of the year - sponsored by The Argus card

Community school of the year - sponsored by Youth in Action

Academic achievemnt of the year - sponsored by Sussex University

Against all odds award - sponsored by Sarah Hopwood

Star award - sponsored by the University of Brighton

Pupil of the year - sponsored by Northbrook College

School of the year - sponsored by Spofforths


Good afternoon and welcome to The Argus live blog of the Youth in Action Education Awards 2014.

Around 300 people have arrived at the American Express Community Stadium for the two-hour ceremony, which celebrates the top performers across education in Sussex.

I'll be bringing you news of the nominees, award winners and pictures from the event.

Group editor of The Argus Michael Beard said: “It’s important that people in the education sector are recognised for the outstanding work they do.

“These awards are about celebrating the whole school community because there are so many people who make the learning environment so special.

“This is the first ever Youth in Action Education Awards – so we want to start with a bang and watch it grow and get bigger and bigger."


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