THE head of a school that has undergone large changes is encouraging people to get involved with this year’s Gazette Education Awards.

Jane Aplin, head at Cranbourne, was given the Leadership Award at the inaugural prize-giving ceremony last year.

Going back to the night, it was a great time for the headteacher.

Jane said: “It was an amazing evening. There were so many teachers and staff all together in one room.

“It really was a celebration of education in Basingstoke. I recognised so many faces and saw many leaders and principals in the area.”

The nominations for the awards are kept anonymous, but parts of the citation are read out on the night.

Jane added: “I don’t know who nominated me, but it does make you feel affirmed and that all your hard work is worth it.

“It gives you the energy to keep going through challenges, and it made me feel on top of the world.

“I dedicated my award on the night to the staff and students and everyone who has helped, we have been building together.”

Since the awards, the school has gone through a myriad of changes, including the launch of a house system in the New Year.

Pupils can choose from four different houses, all named after people with a connection to the area, and each with a particular focus for after school clubs.

The houses include: Austen, after Jane Austen; Thomson, after Alex Thomson, former pupil and Channel 4 news journalist; White, after Gilbert White, an 18th century naturalist from the area; and Andrew Lloyd-Webber, after the musical composer.

There is also the return of a favourite event of the past. On Sunday, 28 April, a car boot sale that used to take place at the school returned.

The very name of the school has also changed, from Cranbourne Business and Enterprise College to Cranbourne, while the uniform and logo has changed in the last year, along with the make-up of the tutor groups, as well as the pupils of Fort Hill School merging with Cranbourne.

Jane said: “There has been an awful lot of change, which is healthy. It really has been huge, with the relaunch of the swimming pool and gym, there has been a blossoming of activities.

“We’ve introduced trips to QMC and BCoT for the top pupils earning house points, and that is an inspiration for them.

“We are going from strength to strength.

She added: “I would absolutely recommend people nominating staff for the award.”

Nominations are open until May 23, and can be made via our on-line form.

To nominate school staff for any of the awards, go to