Rising Star - Ruth Aspden
Ruth is assistant headteacher at St Anthony's School in Chichester, West Sussex.
Since joining the school in 1994 as a classroom teacher, Ruth has risen to the post of assistant head. In that time she has developed the autism provision to such a high standard that the school has admissions inquiries from as far afield as Australia.
Ruth was appointed assistant head in 2005 and was responsible for the opening of the school's autistic spectrum disorders facility, as well as being responsible for children with more complex special needs and management of support staff.
She has grown and developed into her role at St Anthony's as its autism guru and her colleagues agree her special needs knowledge is second to none. Ruth embraces every challenge she meets with enthusiasm and skill, and both colleagues and parents have the utmost respect for her. Her commitment and loyalty to the school and her pupils is unwavering.
Ruth now works with the local authority to advise other local schools on their autism provision and is currently working with the Mary Rose Museum to develop its special needs facilities. She is also collaborating with Sussex University to develop interactive equipment and resources for use by pupils on the autistic spectrum.
Bob Griffin, head, who says: "Ruth is planning to take her National Professional Qualification for Headship soon and I know she has all the qualities needed to make a fantastic head. She has made our autism facility what it is today and I will be surprised if she is not a head within three years."
Thanks to the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services for nominating this week's rising star. Send in your one to watch to firstname.lastname@example.org, including 300 words and a picture.