Ben Rowe
  • The Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education
  • Chiltern Way Academy
  • Prestwood Campus, Buckinghamshire

After seven years as a builder, Ben spent four years demonstrating his commitment to teaching and gained qualified teacher status. He now takes the lead on the whole school curriculum, developing a topic-based approach to draw on links between subjects, putting learning into context.

Students at this Academy are all on the autism spectrum, so viewing their learning in real-world contexts is very important. Ben’s impact on the school is huge. He plans and coordinates a whole school project each year, involving two weeks off-timetable, and all students’ involvement in projects to benefit the school and wider community.They learn valuable life skills, teamwork and perseverance as well as practical and educational skills. Someone brave enough to rip up the rule book and do something different in a challenging setting, is one in a million, say Ben’s colleagues!