Success for Sefton Schools at the Educate Awards

24 November 2023 5min read

Sefton celebrated a night of success for a number of Sefton teachers and schools hailed as ‘pupil focused’, ‘inspirational’ and a ‘shining example’ by Educate Award judges last week.

The awards recognise the individuals who bring schools and colleges to life, from inspiring teachers to dedicated support staff in the education sector, from STEM and performing arts to sports and literacy.

Two schools and a school support staff member from Sefton were crowned winners at the Educate Awards on Friday, 17 November. 

  • Hillside High School won the Innovative & Creative Literacy Award
  • Kew Woods Primary School was awarded Outstanding Arts in a Primary School
  • Philip McGowan from Holy Rosary Catholic Primary School took home School Support Star of the Year

The Innovative & Creative Literacy Award, won by Hillside High School, looks at shining examples of excellent reading and writing practice. Judges were impressed by their new ‘Reading is Power’ framework and praised staff for investing a lot of time into the research and preparation into the framework that has supported growth in GCSE English at Hillside.

When it came to the Outstanding Arts in a Primary School category, the Educate Awards’ judges were particularly amazed by Kew Woods Primary School’s entry. This category commends primary schools that are providing outstanding arts provisions and opportunities, through stage shows/ performances and arts led projects. The whole-school approach at Kew Woods Primary School is highly pupil-focused and connections have been formed with other local schools to take involvement in arts-related projects to the next level. Staff at the school are drama-trained, and Kew Woods has funded many theatre trips, such as visits to the West End in London, providing children with a range of opportunities.

The winner of the School Support Star of the Year category was Philip McGowan from Holy Rosary Catholic Primary School took home the prestigious award. Philip is known as an inspirational support at Holy Rosary, and he takes on a lot of roles and responsibilities. His day is incredibly varied, from sitting in cars outside school coaxing anxious children first thing in the morning, letting pupils in a meltdown known that they are safe and cared for, and even DJing for the school disco. Parents of children from the school often call out for Philip when stressed out, commenting on how amazing he is.

 Cllr Diane Roscoe, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Education said:

“Huge well done to our worthy winners at the Educate Awards here in Sefton! The dedication, commitment and passion you showcase in your work is mirrored in schools up and down our borough.

“To have so many winners and runners up across the different categories demonstrates how strong our schools are here in Sefton across so many areas. I am so proud of our schools and I know parents and children alike will share my pleasure that they are being celebrated for what they do.


Kim O’Brien, founder of the Educate Awards, said:

“Congratulations to the Sefton schools that won at this year’s Educate Awards!

“The Educate Awards team is proud to champion the innovation, diversity and dedication that is taking place in educational establishments across the region.”


Other Sefton schools were recognised at the awards, including Maricourt Catholic High School, which was named runner-up for both The Communication Award and Community Partnership Award, runner-up Netherton Moss Primary School for Outstanding Arts in a Primary School, and Great Crosby Catholic Primary School which received runner-up in the Outstanding Commitment to STEM category. St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School also received runner-up for both Outstanding Commitment to Sport in Primary School and the Mental Health & Wellbeing Award.

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