NAME – Thomas Palmowski

AGE - 19

SCHOOL – Broadfield Specialist School

BASED – Fielding Lane, Oswaldtwistle


MISSION/VISION – Our Vibrant Learning Community Includes and Values Everyone – Inspiring ALL to Succeed

SEEING a pupil transform and grow in his or her abilities, both academic and socially, is what teaching is all about – and that’s what makes this award so special.

Teachers at Broadfield Specialist School couldn’t speak more highly of the well-deserved winner of this category (sponsored by Teaching Personnel), Thomas Palmowski.

They described how he arrived as a timid boy who has grown over the years into a “thoughtful young adult” who leaves them this month to go to Blackburn College to study music.

Lee Bentley, from the school, nominated Thomas for the award.

“Thomas has completely transformed and now has an opinion on everything!

“He has developed into a confident, articulate pupil who takes genuine interest in his peers and staff.

“He is an outstanding young man with fantastic skills in many areas.

“His music, his mentoring of younger pupils, his communication skills and his ability to have empathy and to be able to put his feelings into words which is extremely hard for young people on the autistic spectrum,” he said.

Thomas, now 19, said: “It’s a really big surprise – I feel proud.”

He said it was a shame to leave the school as he had enjoyed it.

“I would love to make a living out of drumming but if not it is a great hobby,” he said.

He already has two sets of drums at the home he shares in Langho with his mum Julia and dad Bob.

“He has an electronic drum kit and an acoustic one but he does not play that one at home!” said mum Julia.

She said her son had been schooled in exactly the right place for him and she had seen him flourish during his time at Broadfield.