Usworth Colliery Primary becomes first new Prem Aware School of 2022

The Smallest Things baby charity names Usworth Colliery Primary as a Prem Aware School

Research tells us that, on average, there will be two to three children in every typical classroom who were born prematurely (before 37 weeks). While this does not automatically mean they will have additional educational needs, it does increase the chances they will require extra support.  


Training, awareness & feedback 

Usworth Colliery Primary in Washington has met all three Prem Aware requirements to gain the award: accessing the free PRISM e-learning to train staff; asking parents if children were born prematurely as part of the admissions process; and requesting feedback from parents on any extra support provided. 

By becoming a Prem Aware School, the teaching staff will have a better understanding of the lasting effects of premature birth, be able to identify issues early and provide the practical and emotional support children may need on their education journey.

Alicia Walker, Assistant Headteacher at Usworth Colliery Primary commented: ““We found the training incredibly interesting and informative. As a staff we feel much more equipped to be able to support children who are born prematurely. It has given us a greater awareness of how having a premature child can impact the whole family. We are keen to use the strategies and knowledge we have gained to positively impact the lives of our children. ”

Catriona Ogilvy, founder of The Smallest Things, says "This is fantastic news for families of children born prematurely who attend Usworth Colliery Primary School. Our recent survey revealed nine out of 10 parents of children born prematurely felt there was a need for more awareness and understanding in schools. Having trained teachers who know what to look out for and how to help, will make a big difference to children in the classroom. We hope this will inspire other schools to take this step.”  


Further information: 

• The Smallest Things Prem Aware Award 

The Smallest Things Prem Aware schools guidance pack

• Social media (#PremAware): Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn