2020/21 winners of Step into the NHS secondary schools' competition

We’d like to thank all the schools and students who submitted entries into the 2020/21 Step into the NHS secondary schools' competition. 

The competition saw an impressive 840 entries from 134 schools from all over England, the second-highest number of schools that have taken part in the competition since it first launched in 2008. 

We estimate that over 18,000 students took part in the competition or worked on its educational resources, which asked students in years 7-9 to research an NHS role and create a job description and lively and engaging job advert that would appeal to their peers.

National winners

This year, for the first time, our ten regional winners presented their entry virtually to our judges: DNA investigator and England netball player Rachel Dunn, 2020’s UK Career Leader of the Year Stacey Drake and Health Education England’s Director of Skills Development and Participation, Laura Roberts. They chose 12 year old Ana Aslam from Herschel Grammar School in Slough as our national winner!

Ana, who is in year 7, amazed the judges with a very creative job advert showcasing the role of biomedical scientist.  Talented Ana performed a ventriloquist act with Katie, her puppet and created a model of a road-map into the career and interviewed a biomedical scientist at her local trust.  Her entry stood out to our judges, meaning that she scoops this year's top prize of a £50 Amazon voucher. Well done Ana!

Ana said, "I was extremely excited when I found out that I was the Step into the NHS competition’s national winner in 2021, it was unbelievable and the most unforgettable day of my life! I chose the role of biomedical scientist because they are at the heart of medical breakthroughs in healthcare. After a lot of thinking I decided to use my ventriloquism skill with Katie (my puppet) to make my advert as unique and entertaining as possible!”  

One of the Step into the NHS judges, careers leader Stacey Drake said, "Wow, what a fantastic effort. I never knew how interesting a biomedical scientist was. You definitely received a gold buzzer moment from me. I had a huge smile whilst watching your presentation and learned so much in a wonderfully creative way. I can see the amount of time, effort, and creativity you have put into this project. Well done Ana and Katie, I loved your humour, and how you used your skill to communicate a fantastic wealth of knowledge. I feel confident you have a bright future ahead of you."

Regional winners

We received some fantastic entries from all over England, and chose the best from each region. Each regional winner receives a £25 Amazon voucher. Highly commended certificates were also sent to entries on regional shortlists.  

East Midlands

Year 7 students Aysha, Khadeejah, Zainab and Aishah from Jameah Girls' Academy in Leicester, who created an animated video for the role of paramedic. The judges were impressed with the fun and engaging way the video was made, and the amount of research undertaken. You can see the video on the Health Careers YouTube here.

East of England

Year 7 student Nidhi from Chelmsford County High School in Essex, who created a video job advert for the role of forensic psychologist. The entry showed an understand of the more than 350 roles in the NHS and what a forensic psychologist does. Judges commended Nidhi on her confidence and positive attitude. You can watch the video on the NHS Health Careers YouTube channel here.

Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Year 9 students Willow and Divna from Dover Grammar School for Girls in Kent, who created an animated video for the role of cardiothoracic surgeon. The judges were impressed by the girls' creative approach to the presentation, engaging video and fantastic knowledge of the role. You can see the video on the Health Careers YouTube channel here.


Year 7 student Sam from Wembley High Technology College in London, who created a realistic job advert for the role of director of operations. Judges were impressed by his choice of a non-clinical role and his detailed understanding of the career. See the video on YouTube here.

North East

Year 8 students Isabella, Olivia, Esmie and Grace from St Bede's Catholic School in Durham, for their animated video for the role of speech and language therapist. Judges commended the girls on their teamwork and level of research undertaken. See the YouTube video here.

North West

Year 7 student Grace from Penwortham Girls' High School in Lancashire for creating a board game to depict the day in the life and career choices of an occupational therapist. Judges thought the entry was innovative and resourceful, and were impressed by Grace's focus on job satisfaction. See the video on YouTube here.

South West

Year 8 students Esha, Nia, Alisa and Khushi from Denmark Road High School in Gloucester for creating an engaging video on the role of anaesthetist. Judges were impressed by the humour used in the video, and thought it would appeal to the girls' peers. During their presentation, the girls also explained they had taken it a step further and created a community fundraising project. You can watch the video on YouTube here.

West Midlands 

Year 8 student Aleeza from Crestwood School in Dudley, who created an appealing slideshow and interactive poster on the role of neurologist. The judges loved all the different elements that were very eye-catching and inspiring.

Yorkshire and the Humber

Year 8 student Natalia from Beverley High School in East Yorkshire, who created a detailed and engaging video game on the role of psychiatrist. The judges thought the format of the entry was a powerful tool to help young people understand how mental health matters. You can see it on YouTube here.

2021/22 competition

Visit the Step into the NHS website for further information about the competition. The 2021-22 competition will launch in the Autumn term 2021.

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