A Widnes headteacher’s efforts to improve the lives of vulnerable pupils have been recognised at a House of Lords reception.

Sara Ainsworth from Brookfields School was invited to Westminster as a member of a new national team of headteacher ambassadors.

She is one of 18 heads appointed to the Achievement for All ambassador role. All the heads have significant experience of running the charity’s Achievement for All schools’ programme in their own schools where it has had a remarkable impact on the lives of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

The ambassadors share their knowledge with other schools to help the country’s most vulnerable children.

Sara Ainsworth said: “I am delighted to be appointed an Achievement for All ambassador and for this honour to be recognised with a House of Lords reception.

“I’m very excited to have this role. It’s an opportunity to share with other schools approaches which are making a real difference to the attainment of disadvantaged and vulnerable children.”

Lord Addington hosted the event, which was attended by children and families Minister Edward Timpson and senior education figures.

Edward Timpson said: “Too many children who need this support do not do as well as they should at school. We know that school leaders play a key role in delivering better outcomes for these young people and their families, and having visited a number of Achievement for All schools myself I’m delighted to celebrate the excellent work of those here today.

“Our reforms will see every young person with special educational needs receive the quality education they need to progress from school to adulthood and independence.”

The scheme has helped more than 2,000 schools to improve the attainment of vulnerable and disadvantaged children in reading and writing and maths.

Coaches develop a tailored programme of lesson observations, coaching and professional development. The aim of the support is to develop and support strong leadership, encourage more rigorous tracking of pupil progress, supporting good teaching and removing barriers to children’s learning. Building strong relationships with parents is a major element of the programme.