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TES editor Ann Mroz said: “It is wonderful to see such great ideas and excellent practice emerging from our schools and teachers, especially at a time when schools are under financial pressure. We had a record number of entries this year and the standard was very high, so all those shortlisted should be very proud: it’s an extraordinary achievement to be on this shortlist”.

Michelle started at St. Damian’s in 2002 and has given 17 years distinguished service to supporting pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Michelle is a very highly valued member of staff who is an asset to the school and has been instrumental in ensuring that addressing the needs of pupils with special educational needs is at the forefront of our school mission and ethos. Underpinning her exceptional dedication, Michelle is hard-working, ambitious and aspirational, regardless of a pupil’s ability and she readily identifies gaps in learning and leads very successful intervention programmes.

She is passionate about building up the self-esteem of vulnerable pupils and always ensures her form class start the day with a ‘can do’ attitude.  Michelle is a transformational figure in the lives of many children with special educational needs and her unique achievements with individual children are palpable. The impact of Michelle’s work in school is immense and due to its nature quite simply immeasurable. Michelle is truly selfless and an outstanding team player who serves St Damian’s with unswerving loyalty and she works tirelessly to ensure pupils get the very best educational and pastoral provision possible. 

In essence, Michelle is universally loved by all, highly respected, an ‘unsung hero’, yet a key player in the staff team. Always at the forefront of inclusive practice, Michelle has embraced the many changes both in Special Educational Needs and within school, with positivity and resilience. She contributed significantly to achieving the ‘Inclusion Quality Mark’ for the first time in 2016.


We are absolutely delighted for Michelle and wish to celebrate this good news within the wider St Damian’s community and beyond!

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