Special party date for Sue

Retired teacher Sue Endicott, who has been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of her achievements working with children with special needs.

Retired teacher Sue Endicott, who has been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of her achievements working with children with special needs.

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A Doncaster woman who has worked in special education over five decades has a Royal appointment next week.

Sue Endicott’s lifelong commitment to giving children the best possible start to realise their true potential has landed her an invitation to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party on Thursday, June 7.

The 61-year-old from Sprotbrough has recently retired from Stonehill Special School in Scawsby, after a career which started at the age of 16 when she left home to train as a nursery nurse in residential care.

During her 45-year career she has worked at Cedar Road Special School for severely disabled children in Balby, and eventually joined a team that set up the pioneering Stepping Stones nursery in Doncaster which gave children with special needs access to mainstream education alongside children without special needs, a trailblazing project which attracted national media interest.

Working in schools, Sue noticed the difference that teachers can make in young people’s lives so retrained and went on to see out her career in several different Doncaster schools as a qualified teacher, specialising in working with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

At Anchorage Special School in Cusworth she ran a diagnostic unit, and her studies of children with autism have been published by education journals.

Sue recently became a Doctor in Education – “not bad for a girl from Mexborough Grammar School,” she says.

Her spare time has been taken up with being a Beaver Scout leader and cycling proficiency instructor.

Her son, Jimmy, said: “She believes everyone is entitled to fair access to education and for some of the young people she has worked with, this is more challenging than for others.

“She sees human potential where others may overlook it, and her lifelong service to others has been providing the detailed individual assistance that can be necessary to unlock it.”