A former Beaconsfield pupil returned to her former school to celebrate winning the Women in Innovation Award from Innovate UK.

Alison Ettridge has been given a purple plaque at High March School after winning the award for her work in recruiting female engineering talent.

The purple plaque is Innovate UK’s twist on the blue plaques seen across the country.

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Alison said: “I’m so excited to be recognised in this way.

“School played such a big part in setting me on my journey and I want to help the next generation realise their ambitions.

“It’s critical that young people have strong role models to follow and I’m humbled to be recognised in this way.

"I hope it helps other young women with dreams of starting their own business to have the confidence to give it a shot.”

Currently, just 14% of blue plaques in the UK celebrate the achievements of women.

Kate Gater, Headmistress at High March School, said: “We want our pupils to realise their potential.

"As they say, you can’t be what you can’t see – this plaque is a reminder to everyone here of what they can achieve if they set their mind to it.

"We’re delighted to recognise Alison’s achievements and are excited to follow what comes next”.

The award also sees Alison receive a cash injection of £50,000 as well as mentoring to scale up and bring to market their pioneering business ideas.

Innovate UK launched Women in Innovation in 2016, after research revealed that just 1 in 7 applications for Innovate UK support came from women. 

Their aim was is to get more women innovating within UK businesses.

The awards are for female founders, co-founders or senior decision makers working in businesses that have been operating for at least one year.