Teaching Oscar for Scots ‘visionary’ in special education
THE headteacher of a Scottish special needs school, described as a “visionary” in her field, has been recognised with a lifetime achievement award.
Lorraine Stobie, of Southcraig Campus, Ayr, took the prize in a ceremony last night, just months after being given the same honour at the Scottish Education Awards.
Credited with “dragging special education out of the cupboard”, Ms Stobie was born and raised in Ayr before spending more than three decades teaching in the area.
Actress Anna Friel presented the educator, 56, with the Ted Wragg Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Pearson Teaching Awards – the “Oscars” of the teaching world – for her work at Southcraig Campus, a merger of former Craigpark and Southpark schools, which caters for 80 pupils aged two to 19.
Speaking just after receiving it, Ms Stobie said: “It’s the children that keep me going.
“They’re the most vulnerable children you could ever meet and every day I want to give them a better experience.”
“It’s all about raising the profile and having other people recognise that they are in school for the things they can do, not the things they can’t do.”
Ms Stobie said she had always felt a part of the community and had taught hundreds of children from during her decades of teaching career, with parents of many children keeping in touch over the years.
“I have never needed to have children, because I have been lucky enough to be involved with hundreds of children and their families,” she said.
“I just want everyone who every comes into contact with someone with support needs to recognise their strengths and to value them for what they are, as children and young people.”
Ms Stobie developed individual programmes for each child, rejecting the idea that any were beyond being educated. Colleagues called her “a visionary”.
Many of Southcraig’s pupils suffer from life-limiting conditions and Ms Stobie has become an expert in bereavement and ways to support families when children die.
She has helped produce a model guidance pack, called “When Crisis Calls”, for other schools in similar circumstances.
Ms Stobie’s nomination by a colleague stated: “She is the champion of South Ayrshire’s most vulnerable children and the most skilled practitioner in the field of complex additional support needs. She leads from the front and her own practice with pupils is a model for others to emulate.”
Judges of the awards said: “Throughout her long career she has enriched the lives of others and created a strong educational and moral legacy that will continue into the future.”
The Pearson Teaching Awards were founded in 1998 and received more than 20,000 nominations this year.
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