Schools Week journalists have been recognised at the British Journalism Awards for their agenda-setting investigative reporting.
Jessica Hill, our features and investigations reporter, scooped the award for “best built environment journalism” for her prescient and extensive coverage of the RAAC crisis, months before government grasped the severity of the problem and shut schools.
Judges said it was a “fantastic piece of journalism and a reminder that sector specialist magazines can and should scoop the national media.
“The winner highlighted the problem of aerated concrete in schools … which become a national obsession nine months later.”
Our award-winning RAAC investigations:
- The ‘ticking time bomb’ leaving schools ‘liable to collapse’
- Councils dawdle on surveying collapse risk building material
- UK public buildings feared to be at risk of collapse as concrete crumbles
Meanwhile Samantha Booth, our chief reporter, was highly commended in the “best specialist journalism category” for her campaigning reporting exposing the crisis in the special educational needs system.
Judges praised Booth’s “huge investigative efforts in a topic that rarely features in national headlines”.
Our highly-commended SEND investigations:
- The Great SEND School Robbery
- ‘Disturbing neglect’ as severely disabled children left to go hungry
- How inclusive are mainstream schools?
Schools Week was shortlisted in three categories. Of 800 entries into the awards, just 180 made the shortlist and 30 won.
Schools Week editor John Dickens said the awards were a “tremendous achievement by two fantastic journalists.
“We were shortlisted alongside the best and biggest media outlets in the country and I couldn’t be prouder that our agenda-setting journalism, delivering impact for the education sector, has been recognised.”
Press Gazette editor-in-chief and chairman of the judges Dominic Ponsford said last night: “Our business is important because it is the one which holds all others to account.
“Squeezed as we are by the dark forces of online advertising technology, under attack by litigious oligarchs and in more danger than ever when reporting on conflicts overseas – tonight is a night to forget all that and celebrate a job well done.”