As well as winning the Outstanding Commitment to SEND award for its incredible dedication to its pupils, The Clare School has also received the top accolade of Overall Education Hero of the Year, an award sponsored by Step Teachers, at this year's Norfolk Education Awards.

Based in Norwich, The Clare School is a mixed complex needs school for pupils from three to 19 years old with sensory, physical and medical disabilities.

Its aspiration is for every pupil to become as independent as possible, to communicate in a meaningful way and to be as happy, healthy and safe as they can. It works to provide a fully personalised academic curriculum to meet every pupil’s individual needs, and its passionate staff team is dedicated to supporting pupils to achieve their goals.

Working with children with such complex and varied needs, the school is also eager to enable all of them to reach their individual potential and celebrates their successes at every opportunity.

The judges said that The Clare School was “a unanimous choice” from the entire panel as the Overall Education Hero of the Year winner for 2023.

They felt that “it was clear how much the team there care for the children” and succeed in their aims of encouraging independence, communication and a happy, safe environment.  

By creating a bespoke timetable for every pupil, offering activities outside of term time and carrying out home visits when pupils are too ill to attend school, the judges commended the staff for going “above and beyond”.

They said that “there was a feeling of dedication and joy from this outstanding school, summed up by their words: ‘We prove what pupils are able to do, not what they can’t.”

When asked how it felt to win the top prize of the evening, headteacher of The Clare School Rebecca Wicks said: “I am completely and utterly shocked!

“What we do is just normal for us,” she said. “We don’t think of it as anything other than what we should expect the school to be like. So to be recognised is absolutely phenomenal – thank you so much.”

For more information on the Norfolk Education Awards, please visit the website.

To find out more about all of this year's winners, please click here.

About the sponsor

Step Teachers is the home of honest, ethical and dedicated education recruitment. Founded by two teachers in 2000, it has placed over 8,000 amazing teachers and support staff into its partner schools. 

With a network of branches in Norwich, London, Stevenage, Rainham and Plymouth, it is ideally placed to offer teaching staff to schools across southern England. 

Step Teachers prides itself on providing an unparalleled level of service. Its pledge is to be a safer recruitment trailblazer. It became a member of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) in 2007 and has gone on to achieve the REC’s Audited Education status in every bi-annual audit since.

July 2022 also saw Step Teachers named as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s Supply Teachers and Temporary Staff framework. This cemented its commitment to providing an audited, cost-effective solution for education staffing requirements across the south. 

Step Teachers continues to demonstrate that an independent, family-run business can thrive when inspiring its teams to adopt the work ethic derived from its core values of hard-work, professionalism and honesty.