CUMBRIA'S education Oscars are back.

Entries have opened for The Golden Apple Awards 2019.

The accolades are your chance to toast those who are top of the class, rewarding excellence in education and learning in all of its forms.

From terrific teachers to superb students, amazing apprentices and incredible initiatives, there is something for those involved in every sphere of education.

And there are plenty of bright stars across the county who deserve to walk home with a coveted Golden Apple, which has become a symbol of the often ground-breaking achievements marked in schools, colleges and workplaces throughout Cumbria.

The awards are presented by Newsquest Cumbria - publishers of the Whitehaven News and Times & Star - in association with the University of Cumbria, a trailblazing force in broadening horizons and expanding the county's prospects.

Paul Williamson, associate editor of Newsquest's west Cumbria publications, said: "It is a pleasure for us to be launching the Golden Apples for another year.

"There are few things more important in life than education. We all deserve a good education and the chance to learn more, whatever stage in our lives we are at.

"In Cumbria we are blessed with an army of people in our education sector who work tirelessly to broaden our horizons, with pupils, students and apprentices who reach remarkable highs and achieve amazing results.

"More than that, however, there are people who inspire us to be the best that we can be; who encourage us to follow our dreams and reach our full potential - and often then some beyond that.

"You cannot put a price on the impact that these people have on our lives - and, indeed, on the success of our communities.

"I am sure we can all think of people who have encouraged us to learn and achieve something we may have thought was beyond us or who have been there to help us reach our goals when circumstances may have meant we feared it was not possible.

"The Golden Apples are a chance for you to bring the achievements of those people or organisations to the fore, to shine a spotlight in their achievements and tell them how special they are.

"Great education is key to building an even brighter future for our county and Cumbria has some amazing successes to celebrate.

"But to ensure those so worthy of a thank-you receive the recognition they deserve, we need you to to tell us about them - and why they are special - by going to and nominating them.

"We can't wait to hear about them and look forward to meeting them at our awards evening, an event which has become one of the highlights of the year on Cumbria's awards calendar."

Last year's winners included Carlisle College student Rebecca Mooney who jointly won Apprentice of the Year; North Allerdale Development Trust (Early Intervention Programme) from Wigton took the title of Best Inclusion Initiative; and Netherhall School in Maryport was recognised for its turnaround, which saw it named as Best Secondary School.

Denis Fay was given the lifetime achievement award for outstanding services. He retired as headteacher of Ulverston Victoria High School after teaching for more than 40 years.

A particularly poignant moment came when Jo Burleigh, of Energy Coast UTC in Workington, was posthumously awarded the Best Support Staff title. She lost her battle with breast cancer in June, but was labelled an inspiration by those who knew and worked with her. The award was part of a hat-trick scooped by Energy Coast UTC, which also included best teaching profession for Kerryann Wilson and best education and learning leader for its principal Cherry Tingle.


Best Student

Best Teaching Professional

Best Support Staff

Early Years Provider

Community Initiative

Best Use of Technology

Best Teaching Assistant

Best Industry Engagement Initiative

Best Further Education Provider

Best Education Profession Newcomer

Best Learning, Development and Training Provider

Best Education and Learning Leader

Against All Odds

Best Apprentice

Best Inclusion Initiative

Best Primary School

Best Secondary School

Health and Wellbeing Award

Lifetime Achievement

For more details about the categories, their criteria and to enter, go to For more details, call 01228 612306. The closing date for nominations is Friday, June 27.

The awards are free to enter and open to all education and training providers and organisations with a base in Cumbria.

Follow the awards buzz on social media using #GoldenApples2019.

Finalists will be invited to a gala celebration, to be held at Energus, Lillyhall, Workington, in October.


Best student: David Mitchell, Barrow

Best teaching professional: Kerryann Wilson, Energy Coast UTC, Lillyhall

Best support staff: Jo Burleigh, Energy Coast UTC, Lillyhall

Best early years provider: Lamplugh CE School and Nursery, Lamplugh, Frizington

Best community initiative: We Will, Ewanrigg Local Trust, Maryport

Best use of technology: Dalton St Mary’s CE Primary School, Dalton in Furness

Best teaching assistant: Natalie Shaw, Furness College, Barrow

Best industry engagement initiative: Nick Hall, Aroma Catering, Ulverston Victoria High School

Best further education provider: Lakes College, Lillyhall

Best education profession newcomer: Richard Gardiner, Newton Rigg College, Penrith

Best learning, development and training: Cumbria Training Centre, Barrow

Best education and learning leader: Cherry Tingle, Energy Coast UTC, Lillyhall

People’s choice award: Rachel Esposito, primary programme lead (School Direct), Kendal

Against all odds: Nathan Milburn, Barrow Sixth Form College

Best apprentices: Conor Alexander, Lakes College, Lillyhall; and Rebecca Mooney, Carlisle College

Best inclusion initiative: North Allerdale Development Trust (Early Intervention Programme)

Best primary school: Fairfield Primary School, Cockermouth

Best secondary school: Netherhall School, Maryport

Best employee development programme: Ward 4 West Cumberland Hospital & Tissue viability nurses, Whitehaven