A TEACHING assistant’s dedicated service has been recognised with a national award.

Sam Lowe, from Newton-le-Willows, who works at Ascent Autism Specialist College, received the SEN Teaching Assistant of the Year glass trophy, certificate and voucher at a ceremony in the college on Friday, September 29.

The awards, founded by education recruitment agency Teaching Personnel in collaboration with education training and professional development provider Best Practice Network, have been held annually since 2012 as part of National Teaching Assistants Day, which celebrates the contribution of TAs across primary, secondary and special schools.

Sam was nominated for the award by colleagues who spoke of her ‘exceptional talent for encouraging learning in all capacities.’ One colleague said: “Sam is exceptional in her talent for encouraging learning in all capacities. Many young adults enrolled in the 16-25 Ascent autism specialist college provision have previously in other education provisions had many years of unsatisfactory educational experiences due to their personal needs and complexities not being catered for in non-specialist settings to allow learning to take place.

“After these students have spent many years with unfulfilling academic outcomes Sam works tirelessly to create unique and personal learning environments for all of the Ascent students, their families and the staff who work with them.

“Sam demonstrates that society does care, we can make a difference and she works above and beyond to break down barriers for the autistic student population.”

The awards organisers received hundreds of nominations from schools across the country for seven awards categories.

Preeti Hart, Managing Director at awards organisers Teaching Personnel, said: “There are almost a quarter of a million TAs working in England’s schools, going the extra mile day in and day out, but their value is often underestimated. That’s why we run the National Teaching Assistants Day every year to recognise and celebrate wonderful individuals like Sam who make such a difference to children’s lives.”