Ascent Autism Specialist College teaching assistant receives national award

Sam Lowe, a teaching assistant at Ascent Autism Specialist College, has received a national award from Teaching Personnel.

The SEN Teaching Assistant of the Year Award recognises and celebrates the hard work and dedication of teaching assistants in Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools. 

The award was presented to Sam on National Teaching Assistants Day at Ascent College’s Cosy Café. Sam received a glass trophy, certificate and a voucher from Teaching Personnel.

Since 2012, the awards have been held annually as part of National Teaching Assistants Day and have shone a spotlight on the work and contribution of teaching assistants in primary, secondary and SEN schools.

The awards call on colleagues and other members of a school’s community to nominate their classroom champions. Sam, who has a career spanning 25 years, was nominated by Ascent College’s head of adult services, Julliet Doherty.

Within her nomination, Sam was described as ‘exceptional’ in her talent for encouraging learning in all capabilities.

During her time with Ascent College, Sam has gone above and beyond to support and inspire students. She is a strong advocate for autistic individuals and an incredible role model for Ascent students.

The nomination detailed how Sam strives to make a difference and goes above and beyond to support students and break down barriers.

Dave Ward from Teaching Personnel presented the award to Sam. He said: “We received a large number of nominations from across the country, which demonstrates the number of outstanding teaching assistants supporting schools and playing such a vital role.

“Sam’s nomination really stood out from the rest. It evidenced her compassion and lifetime dedication to her role, the students she supports and the positive impact she has on her colleagues.

“The atmosphere in the room when it was announced that Sam had won was electric. It showed how valued she is. A truly deserving winner. Congratulations, Sam.”

The award was presented to Sam on National Teaching Assistants Day at Ascent College’s Cosy Corner Café on Friday, 29 September during the college’s MacMillan Coffee Morning event.

Julliet Doherty, head of adult services at Ascent Autism College, said: “To see one of our teaching assistants recognised nationally is fantastic.

“Sam embodies our values, and her ongoing commitment and passion for helping improve the lives of Ascent College students is truly admirable.

“We are extremely proud to call Sam part of our team. Congratulations, Sam.”

Ascent Autism Specialist College is part of the Remarkable Autism Charity and supports autistic individuals aged 16 to 25.

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