Childcare assessor nominated for award left school with no GCSEs

Sophie Adams and son Dylan.Sophie Adams and son Dylan.
Sophie Adams and son Dylan.
A Central Bedfordshire childcare assessor who was inspired to make other children's lives better by her experiences has been nominated for a national award.

Sophie Adams, one of the Central Bedfordshire Academy of Social Work and Early Intervention’s assessors, is on Nursery World’s four-strong shortlist for the Trainer of the Year Award.

The annual awards, which are run by the national publication, are open to everyone who works in early years education and childcare and shine a light on exceptional individuals and organisations who could inspire others to work in the sector.

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Sophie’s nomination is all the more remarkable considering where she started from.

She disengaged from school from the age of 13 and left without any GCSEs. That meant she was declined a place on the childcare course she wanted to do at her local college. But after she’d passed them she reapplied and completed it with flying colours.

After starting as a practitioner in a hospital nursery, Sophie worked her way up to a management role in a private day nursery. While working in a private day nursery she trained as an assessor and found a new passion for developing skills and practice.

Debbie Crawford, head of the academy, said: “I’m very proud that Sophie has been shortlisted for this prestigious award. It’s down to her great work with apprentices and a hugely successful programme of delivery on school readiness to schools, nursery staff and parents.”

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Sophie said: “I have to give credit to the whole academy team – I’m lucky enough to work with people who recognise individuals’ interests and strengths and encourage us to take opportunities to develop. The school readiness programme has been a great experience for me and I’m pleased that it has been so well received by families and settings.”

Cllr Steven Dixon, executive member for education and skills, said: “I am delighted for Sophie that she has been nominated for this award and I hope that she goes on to win. She is a shining example of someone who may not have had the easiest start in life, but who has shown plenty of determination and hard work to get where she is today – and is now using that experience to help others.”

Sophie will now have to wait until Saturday, September 24, when the winners will be announced at a ceremony in London.

For more information about the awards, visit

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The academy has also been shortlisted for a prize in the CIPD People Management Awards 2016. It is on the five-strong shortlist for the HR/L&D team of the year – public sector/third sector/social enterprise

The award recognises human resources and learning and development teams that have demonstrated excellence across the board to achieve business success, and the winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on Tuesday, September 27.

​For more information about the awards, visit