The principal of the country’s top specialist dyslexia school based in Staffordshire has been commended for his achievement in society.

At a glitzy award reception held at 11 Downing Street, Dr Neville Brown from Maple Hayes Dyslexia School picked up his runners-up certificate for The Times / Sternberg Active Life Award for 2016.

The award was established in July 2008 to celebrate the achievements of those over the age of 70 who have contributed to society.

Dr Brown, who founded the school in 1982, has worked tirelessly throughout his career to ensure children with dyslexia get equal opportunities once leaving his groundbreaking school.

Now in his 80s and battling cancer, he is one of Britain’s most significant figures within his area of expertise – and the award recognised the method he created to teach, which uses a a symbol system, rather than phonics.

Also noted by the Sternberg Active Life Award when he received his certificate, was Doctor Brown’s thesis in Attentional Style, Linguistic Complexity and the treatment of Reading Difficulty, which was internationally recognised and featured three times in the Nato Human Factors Program. 

Dr Brown said: “It was an incredible day for me to attend Downing Street. We work very hard at Maple Hayes Dyslexia School to ensure children are given the best possible start in life, and so for the system I developed to be recognised by my peers was an honour.”

The winner of the award was John Robinson, aged 75, the chairman of the Abbeyfield Society which provides care and housing to more than 7,000 residents aged 55 plus across the UK and internationally. Also recognised by the award were Dr Jeffrey Carr, 82, a retired biology lecturer, who started a programme to invent and distribute affordable baby incubators in Tanzania; John Lubbock, 71, who serves the community primarily through his classical ensemble the Orchestra of St John’s and his charity Music for Autism (MfA); Professor John Benington, 75, the founder of the UK charity Friends of Ibba Girls School, South Sudan, to establish high-quality education for girls; and Dr Himansu Basu, 82, (represented by Raymond Dixon from Rotary International), who developed an effective strategic programme which received endorsements from global professional organisations, government and NGOs involved in maternal mortality reduction.

There are around 120 pupils aged between seven and 17-years-old who attend the Lichfield school who live in Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Birmingham, Worcestershire and surrounding counties.

Maple Hayes Dyslexia School was also given the royal seal of approval last April when it was visited by Princess Beatrice, who herself is Dyslexic.

R by Clive Reeves PR Birmingham