Staff at Pen Green Centre in Corby are celebrating after scooping not one, but two national awards.
They were double winners at the Times Education Supplement (Tes) awards held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday (June 22).
The centre went to the event having been one of only eight providers in the whole of the UK shortlisted for the ‘Early Years Setting of the Year Award’ in recognition of the work it does with youngsters from birth up to five-years-old.
Not only did the team win this award, they also picked up the big award of the night – Overall School of the Year.
The Tes Schools Awards, which are now in their tenth year, recognise outstanding contributions made by education teams and individuals to help students around the country to succeed, both inside and outside the classroom.
Commenting on Pen Green’s success, the judging panel said: “Pen Green is characterised by its passion and commitment to meet the needs of every child.
"The centre serves a diverse community and has a well-deserved global reputation for the quality of learning and teaching that children enjoy.
"Parents and the local community are deeply engaged in the work of the centre.
"Pen Green’s influence stretches well beyond its own boundaries and the centre supports a teaching alliance and has influenced and guided the work on early education here in the UK and beyond.”
Angela Prodger, joint head of centre at Pen Green, said: “We were thrilled to even make the shortlist.
"To get that recognition for our hard work and commitment and go along to the awards evening was amazing, but to win our category and the big award of the night – Overall School of the Year – was just truly exceptional.
“Winning these awards isn’t just good for us, it is great news for the families and parents we work with and the people of Corby too.
"Not only that, it is wonderful for our sector too.
"All too often early years is seen as the poor relation when it comes to education.
"An early years provider has never won the Tes Overall School of the Year award before I think it shows a real shift in mindset towards the sector and I hope will lead to more people recognising that early years settings do lay the foundations for a child’s education.”
Tes editor Ann Mroz added: “This was a record year for entries and the standard was exceptionally high.
"The shortlists were particularly strong so all those who have won an award should be very proud - it’s an extraordinary achievement.
"We salute each and every one of them.”