Shirley Hayler

6th December 2002 at 00:00
Shirley Hayler is manager of the sixth form learning resources centre at Heart of England school, Balsall Common, Solihull.

"She's our rock, she's like a second mum, she's wonderful." So wrote head girl Alex Read and her friends in the sixth form, who wanted to say a big thank you to Shirley Hayler with our flowers, champagne and chocolates. For those in Year 13 applying to university this term, she has been a guiding hand, helping them make their UCAS choices and to apply online.

Heart of England school has 1,270 pupils and a sixth form of 210. It's a high achieving place (more than 70 per cent get five grades A*-C), which Ofsted has described as "a very good school". At stressful times, like the exam season and when students change their minds about A-level choices or careers, Shirley is a calming and informed influence. Hers is the only non-teaching job in the sixth form - there are 19 teacher-tutors and year heads - and much of the administration falls to her.

Shirley has two children at the school and first worked in the library. The suite of computers she now runs is the hub of the centre with a bank of resources as well as internet access. This is where students study in their non-contact periods and come to her for advice. Informally, she's their agony aunt. Alex writes: "She is a shoulder to cry on who puts things in perspective and stays impartial."

Dr Colin Pierpoint, deputy head and current head of sixth form, backs his students' choice. "Shirley is proactive and very good at monitoring the climate - how the students are feeling. She has a happy, gregarious personality, and is always smiling and approachable. We are very, very lucky to have her."

Send the name of your Friday Hero to Sarah Bayliss, Friday, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX, or email Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now