Laptop pioneers lap up accolade
"It has been my job to develop projects in the wider community and to make sure we keep our status as a technology college," says Mr Stevens, who has been vice-principal for 10 years. "We've set up a day nursery, a public library, a leisure centre and a range of adult education services."
Formerly a secondary school, Sawtry is now a technology college for 980 students aged 11 to 18. It has earned a reputation for its work in the use of laptop computers and for extending training in ICT into the community.
The college has solved the problem of limited Internet access-ponts by arranging for transmitters to be installed in the local area, enabling students to use their laptops to gain cable-free access to the school's intranet.
Chris Thatcher, president of the National Association of Head Teachers, who chaired the judges panel, said: "There were lots of excellent nominees, but the judges felt that Mr Stevens' contribution was unusually and uniquely effective."
Other nominees were: Mike Butler of King Edward VII upper school, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire; Val Wigham of Lord Lawson of Beamish community college, Chester-le-Street, Durham; Marion Brooks of Cranford community college, Hounslow; Keith Nancekievill of Gosforth high, Newcastle upon Tyne; Dave Robbins of Intake high, Leeds; Sandy Young and Kathy Heaps of John Kelly Boys'Girls' technology colleges, Brent.