We are delighted to announce that a former Darwen Aldridge Community Academy student, Declan Grimshaw, 17, won a Special Achievement Award at the 2017 British Education Awards. The ceremony took place event at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on the 30th of January and was hosted by BBC news presenter Sophie Long.
The prestigious event, which was the first of its kind, honoured students from across the UK for exemplary academic and extracurricular achievement. It was supported by MPs such as Shadow Secretary of State for Education Angela Raynor MP, Chair of the House of Commons Education Select Committee Neil Carmichael MP and former Secretary of State for Wales the Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP.
On the evening were treated to entertainment from Britain’s Got Talent star and musician Henry Gallagher, comedian Mani Liaqat and violinist Jessica Crabtree. Awards organiser Amin Babor Chowdhury said “All of our finalists have shown an exceptional level of commitment and focus to advance through learning and ensure they have the best opportunities in life. They are an example of what can be achieved, not just in terms of academic success, but as talented individuals and caring, responsible citizens.”
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner MP, when speaking to London based television station Channel S, said “It’s fantastic to be at the British Education Awards because it’s really important that not only do we celebrate the success of education establishments but we’ve got to remember that it’s the individual students that make the establishments successful. And we’ve got many different students from different background that have done fantastic work.”
Awards for Special Achievement were presented to three candidates that the BEA awarding panel adjudged to have overcome exceptionally difficult circumstances to progress in their studies and achieve success. Declan, who is autistic and also registered blind, picked up the special achievement award for overcoming his difficulties and passing all of his GCSEs last summer.
David Cane, Interim Principal at DACA, said “We are incredibly proud of Declan. Despite numerous difficulties, Declan has achieved a great deal academically and has grown into a very independent and resilient young adult who is a credit to us and his family.”
Declan’s mother, Jennifer Sumner, commented “It was amazing to celebrate and see our Declan receive an award for his efforts in education…Thank you so very much to the huge team of people that have worked with Declan through the years and have contributed to the amazing young man he has become. We are eternally thankful and proud parents and grandparents and he continues to make us proud every day. We are so lucky to have such amazing schools in Darwen and that’s because the teachers are so wonderful. Education is the key to success.”
(Top Photo L-R Angela Frain (Declan’s Learning Support Assistant) Declan Grimshaw and Rachel Lewis (Assistant Principal, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy)