Accolades for admin staff

HEADS' SECRETARIES often have a reputation for being ruthless when it comes to vetting callers' requests, particularly from parents. But their loyalty and support is about to be recognised for the first time.

Two new accolades have been added to this year's categories of the New Directions Inspirational Teacher Awards 2007. And organisers of the annual awards ceremony, now in its third year, have opened nominations from schools across South Wales.

Nominations for the new teachers' support award can include nursery nurses, teaching assistants and learning support assistants. The education ancillary staff award covers secretaries, PAs and any other school admin staff.

Last year, six awards went to inspirational heads and teachers from primaries and secondaries during a lavish ceremony at Cardiff's Marriott hotel.

TES Cymru sponsored the best secondary school award, handed to Paul Edwards from Newport's Llantarnam school. It will also be sponsoring an award this year.

During the ceremony, attended by around 250 guests, Gary Brace, chief executive of the General Teaching Council for Wales, said teachers in Wales deserved to be celebrated. Brian Rowlands, out-going Welsh secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, also made a speech. Winners received laser-engraved plaques made from Welsh slate.

Gary Williams, managing director of Cardiff-based supply agency New Directions, said: "The awards celebrate key individuals in the profession in South Wales who, through their hard work, act as mentors, role models and perhaps the inspiration for many pupils."

This year's other categories include inspirational primary teacher, primary head, secondary teacher, secondary head, special educational needs teacher and special educational needs headteacher.

* For more information contact Sian Symons, New Directions Education, tel: 02920 390133, email: sian.symons@new-directions.co.uk

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