Inspiration in Education nominee – Laura Davies
Laura Davies has been called ‘a true inspiration to everyone she meets’.
During more than 20 years of working in the Foundation Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Department at Stoke-on-Trent College she has unlocked countless opportunities for her students.
Laura introduced an Ability Counts Football Team for learners, giving them the opportunity to participate in weekly training and to play fixtures against other colleges. In the early stages of the programme Laura even supported the players by personally providing them with kit including shin pads.
Over the least 12 months Laura has successfully secured a range of grants and additional funding from Sport England to enable learners to continue to experience activities including residentials at Petty Pool Outdoor Educational Centre and visits to Manchester and Liverpool.
The latest initiative Laura has launched involves close collaboration with Port Vale Football Club. This partnership allows learners the opportunity to assist Port Vale on a weekly basis by volunteering. The learners take on a wide range of roles including maintenance and refurbishment duties around the stadium and assisting on matchdays throughout the season. This unique experience gives learners hands-on experience while also developing their communication skills, confidence and teamwork.
Laura has been nominated as an Inspiration in Education in the Your Heroes Awards by Claire Gordon, Head of Inclusion at Stoke-on-Trent College.
Claire said: “Laura is a true inspiration to everyone she meets. She is a highly experienced, highly valued member of the team.
“Within her teaching role Laura works tirelessly to build relationships and provide support to all of the learners she comes into contact with.
“She consistently applies innovative teaching and learning strategies, which include hands on, practical activities and a range of engaging trips and visits, all designed to bring learning to life – her learners often make rapid progress as a direct result of this approach.
“Laura has a heart of gold and consistently goes above and beyond what is required, putting the learners first in all aspects of her role, ensuring that learners develop the necessary social and personal skills as well as gaining a qualification whilst studying at college.
“These opportunities for the learners really would not be possible without Laura’s commitment and dedication, she makes a huge difference not just to the college and her fellow colleagues but, most importantly, to the learners she supports.
“100% of learners within Laura’s course said that they have developed their self-confidence and that the college is a safe and inclusive environment. This is testament to Laura’s hard work and dedication.”