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Merthyr Tydfil school staff recognised as among the best in Wales

Two members of staff at schools in Merthyr Tydfil are among nine education providers across Wales to pick up awards for the ‘outstanding and exceptional’ quality of their work.

Jon Caple of Bishop Hedley Catholic High School and Adam Griffiths from Pen Y Dre High School were winners in the Professional Teaching Awards Cymru, which honours the achievements of educational staff up and down the country.

Jon Caple was winner in the School Business Manager/Bursar category, awarded to staff demonstrating the ability to ‘manage and drive the school agenda’ to support school management, along with leadership and innovative thinking qualities to deliver results for their school.

His nomination said:

“Jon gives his all to his school, putting pupils at the forefront of everything he does.  He is a warm person who creates a safe environment for all, has a clear understanding of his remit and possesses a truly professional attitude.

“Staff use Jon as a sounding board and although he keeps them on their toes, when they need something, they turn to him for support.  Jon’s enthusiasm, commitment and dedication truly make him stand out.”

The nomination described him as ‘a Jack of all trades and master of them all’ and said he was ‘genuinely highly regarded in the school and the local community’.

Headteacher Maureen Harris said: “All at the school are very proud of Mr Caple’s achievement.  He represents the heart of Bishop Hedley, works tirelessly for the pupils, supports colleagues in other schools and enables staff to put in place the appropriate resources to attain excellent outcomes for pupils.  He richly deserves this award.”

Adam Griffiths was winner in the Supporting Teachers and Learners category awarded to staff who have provided outstanding support and had ‘an exceptional impact’ on the teaching and learning in the school.

“Adam has a natural way with pupils that brings out their creativity,” said his nomination. “He works tirelessly to encourage learners at Pen Y Dre to express themselves and achieve through art, resulting in many learners who have previously struggled academically, going on to succeed.

“Adam’s contribution is evident everywhere you look as he turns spaces into galleries where learners’ work is displayed with pride.  His support sees no boundaries, to Adam everyone is an artist and it is obvious that they are taught with respect.

“Adam’s pupils are encouraged to love art with a passion and enthusiasm that will hopefully stay with them throughout their lives.”

Pen Y Dre Headteacher Keith Maher said:

“We are incredibly proud of Adam’s achievements, and are thrilled that his work is recognised.  This award completes a prestigious hat trick of national awards for Pen Y Dre – over the past two years we’ve been awarded the accolade of Welsh Government’s School of the Year for Engaging with Parents and the Community, and our Head of IT won the UK Pearson Teaching Silver Award for use of Digital Technology.  It is a pleasure to work with such talented staff and students.”