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Cefn Saeson head wins teaching award

The headteacher of the school vindicated in a bullying row over the suicide of teenager Laura Rhodes has won a top teaching award.

Alun Griffiths, from Cefn Saeson comprehensive, Neath, was named RAF secondary head of the year at the Welsh finals of the 2005 teaching awards in Cardiff yesterday. He was nominated for the prestigious award by colleague Lisa Williams.

She said: "Mr Griffiths's style of headship encourages children to approach him directly and I know from speaking to my pupils that they have full confidence and respect for his advice and support.

"He is always prepared to listen and to help when he can."

Laura, 14, a former pupil at the school, died last year in a suicide pact with a friend. Her parents have claimed that bullying was to blame and plan to sue the school. But a two-day inquest last month cleared Cefn Saeson of blame, saying the pact was motivated by the girls' fear of separation and anxieties about homophobia.

Mr Morwel Palmer, of Spittal primary school in Haverfordwest, won the first-ever Welsh Assembly government award for promotion of the Welsh language.

See next week's TESCymru for more details

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