Bradstow’s European triumph

Published: Thursday 21st October 10

A council maintained special school for children with severe autism has scooped two major prizes at the prestigious European Excellence Awards (EEA) in Bilbao, Spain.

Bradstow School, based in Kent, was named winner in two categories - 'Succeeding Through People' and 'Leading with Vision, Inspiration and Integrity'.

The outstanding performance follows on from last year when the school picked up the top prize for 'Customer Focus'.

The competition is run by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) to recognise and reward exceptional organisations from across the continent.

Other nominees vying for the awards includes vast international companies like Bosch and Siemens, as well as and major public organisations like Liverpool's John Moores University.

Headteacher Bert Furze said: "We are very proud to have received these two prestigious awards particularly as the competition was so fierce. Bradstow can hold its head high among the elite in Europe. This is a testament to the work of the school and all its staff. Who would have thought a little school on the top of a cliff at the end of a train line can reach these heights." 

Wandsworth Council's executive member for education and children's services Cllr Kathy Tracey said:

"My congratulations to everyone at the school, it's a real David and Goliath story. Bradstow has demonstrated for the second year running that that it doesn't take huge resources to achieve exceptional results.  The school is truly is an outstanding organisation and an inspiring role model for others to follow."

The EEA winners were announced at a gala award ceremony in Bibao, Spain earlier this month.

Bradstow is one of only a few residential schools in the country dedicated to children who experience autistic spectrum disorders.

Last year the school was awarded Specialist Schools Status for Communication and Interaction by the Department of Education and is rated 'Outstanding' by school's watchdog Ofsted.

For more information about Bradstow School visit

For more information about the awards visit

The picture shows (left to right) Chair of Governors Joe Murphy, Headteacher Bert Furze, EFQM President Marc Duhem, Classroom Support Assistant Mike Sussex, EFQM CEO Pierre Cachet, Farm Project Coordinator Darren Miller, Individual Support Worker Charmaine Keatley, Team Support Worker Tom Singleton, Teacher Jamie Elliott, Speech Therapist Alice Enfield, Communication Facilitator Dawn Barnes and Personnel Assistant Amy Lees.


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