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Meet Suffolk's most inspiring children and teachers

PUBLISHED: 17:21 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:21 11 July 2019

The Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county’s schools. Pictured is winner Manny Smiley. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIX

The Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county's schools. Pictured is winner Manny Smiley. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIX

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An "exceptional" blind child and a boy paralysed from the waist down who "never fails to inspire and amaze his peers" have been named among the best and brightest in Suffolk's schools.

The Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county’s schools. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIXThe Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county’s schools. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIX

The Raising the Bar Awards were held at Wherstead Park near Ipswich to honour teachers, volunteers and young people in the county's secondaries and primaries who have gone above and beyond to achieve great things.

The ceremony was part of a scheme led by Suffolk County Council to raise achievement in education in the area, which has helped increase the number of schools judged to be "good" or "outstanding" and a rise in five-year-olds reaching a good level of development.

But it was the winners who really showed the best of what Suffolk has to offer with their tales of high achievement, often against some of the greatest of life's challenges.

They included Sidegate Primary School's Keziah McNeil, who is blind and has learned to read and write in Braille, and Manny Smiley - who has impressed everyone with taking part in school activities despite using a wheelchair due to a tumour on his spine.

The Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county’s schools. Pictured is winner Dylan Murray. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIXThe Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county’s schools. Pictured is winner Dylan Murray. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIX

Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children's services, education and skills at Suffolk County Council, said: "The Raising the Bar awards are a celebration of excellence in Suffolk education, and the perfect chance to recognise the outstanding work happening in schools and education settings across the county."

Former EADT and Ipswich Star editor Terry Hunt, who hosted the event, said: "I am extremely proud to host these awards as I have always been passionate about seeing young people thrive and achieve their best, which often cannot happen without the support and guidance of great local teachers and other dedicated individuals within our communities that want the best for our young people."

Sue Cook, executive director of people's services at Suffolk County Council, said: "With education results in Suffolk improving faster than those nationally, there is much to celebrate in education in the county."

The event also featured an inspirational interview with Hayley Long, an award-winning writer of teenage fiction and non-fiction who grew up in Suffolk.

The Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county’s schools. Pictured is winner Keziah McNeil. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIXThe Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county’s schools. Pictured is winner Keziah McNeil. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIX

Ms Long said: "It's so important to recognise and celebrate the achievements and talents of young people.

"It's a lovely thing for me to come back to my hometown and to get to meet such an inspirational group of children and teenagers. Suffolk can be proud!"

THE WINNERS

The Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county’s schools. Pictured is winner Kayleigh Elmer. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIXThe Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county’s schools. Pictured is winner Kayleigh Elmer. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIX

Inspirational Young Person of the Year Awards - Early Years and Primary

Winners - Ayan Omar, Sprites Primary Academy; Dylan Murray, East Bergholt CEVC Primary School; Keziah McNeil, Sidegate Primary School; Albie Compton, The Bridge School, Ipswich ; Manny Smiley, St Mary's Academy, Mildenhall

The Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county’s schools. Pictured is winner Phoebe Vokes. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIXThe Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards were held to recognise the work of teachers, young people and volunteers in the county’s schools. Pictured is winner Phoebe Vokes. Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIX

Inspirational Young Person of the Year Awards - Secondary

Winners: Leo Moss-Eccardt, Hillside Special School; Anya Ilczenko, Stour Valley Community School; Martha Cooper, Horringer Court School, Bury St Edmunds

Inspirational Young Person of the Year Awards - Post-16

Winners: Regan Partridge, Suffolk One, Ipswich; Joanna Brawn, Westley Middle School, Bury St Edmunds

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Inspirational Young Person of the Year Awards - Apprenticeships

Winners: Phoebe Vokes, Nova Training, Ipswich; Kayleigh Elmer, West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds; Carrie Donovan, Suffolk County Council

Business Supporting Ambition Award

Winner: Deborah Ball, Kinetic Science

Runners up: Richard Stewart, Student Life; Naomi Herbert, LV Insurance Ipswich

Excellence in Digital Strategy Award

Winner Kate Hayward-Brackenbury, St Mary's Primary School, Woodbridge

Special recognition: Oliver Clifford, Worlingham Primary School

Educational Leader and Setting of the Year Awards - Early Years

Winner: Michele Cole, Badingham Playschool

Runners up: Jenny Snape, Little Teapots Preschool, Chedburgh; Emma Howard, Meadow Brook Nursery, Saxmundham

Educational Leader and Setting of the Year Awards - Primary

Winner: Jamie White, Oulton Broad Primary School

Runners up: Joel Crawley and Oz Sparks, Woods Loke Primary School, Lowestoft; Roisin Wiseman, Wilby Primary School

Educational Leader and Setting of the Year Awards - Secondary

Winner: Helen Winn, Ipswich Academy

Runners up: Nick Froy, Newmarket Academy; Vanessa Whitcombe, Castle Manor Academy, Haverhill

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