USW Teacher and Adviser Awards 2021

In 2021 we launched the inaugural USW Teacher and Adviser Awards. 

The accolades were awarded to teachers and advisers from secondary schools and colleges across the UK who have demonstrated excellence in four categories in the 2020-21 academic year. Each award winner received £500 towards CPD and/or staff wellbeing initiatives at their school or college.

We had a fantastic response to the awards, with 64 nominations across all four categories, from schools and colleges from across the UK. On Friday 9 July, we hosted a Virtual Awards Ceremony, during which the winners were announced. You can view the award winners and shortlisted nominees for all four categories below, as well as a recording of the Virtual Ceremony. 

Lisa Jones, Head of Year 7 at Ysgol Bryn Alyn (Winner)

Joanna Davies, Mathematics Teacher at Ysgol Bryn Alyn 

Katy Thomas, Religious Studies Teacher at Merthyr Tydfil College 

Scott Jones, Music Technology Tutor at Coleg y Cymoedd

Shon Prebble, Online Learning Co-ordinator and Teacher of Science and Technology at Ysgol Bryn Alyn (Winner)

Sarah Hennessey, Head of Humanities at Ysgol Bryn Alyn

Julian Dinsdale, Access to Healthcare Tutor at Merthyr Tydfil College

Carolyn Scott, Chemistry Teacher at Merthyr Tydfil College

Richard Grabham, Pastoral Tutor / Teacher at St David's Catholic College and Cardiff West Community School (Winner)

Carolyn Scott, Chemistry Teacher at Merthyr Tydfil College

Lisa Reynolds, Course Co-ordinator for the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport at Coleg y Cymoedd

James Jones, Digital Competency Co-ordinator at Aberdare Community School (Winner)

Alice Parry, Team Leader for Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at Coleg Cymunedol y Dderwen 

Erica Dow, English Teacher at Merthyr Tydfil College

Ian Presgrave, Catering and Hospitality Lecturer at Coleg y Cymoedd

Julian Dinsdale, Access to Healthcare Tutor at Merthyr Tydfil College

Scott Jones, Music Technology Tutor at Coleg y Cymoedd

Hear from some of the Winners

Lisa Jones.jpg

"When I did my PGCE, there was no training in how to cope during a Global Pandemic and like everyone else in the profession, my job changed in March 2020. As a school, I feel we responded proactively to the challenge of our pupils learning from home- and as a Pastoral Team, our aim was for our pupils to know we were still there for them, even though they weren’t seeing us on a daily basis. To have received nominations for this award from parents made me feel extremely proud, their words reinforced why I do this job every day and winning the award is certainly one of the highlights of a twenty- year career" 

Richard Grabham.jpg

"Life is full of uncertainties, and we can never be sure of what our future holds for us at a young age. I always remember my mother telling me that my primary school teacher said that I wouldn’t have a career as I was not intelligent. These words stuck in my mind for the rest of my life and still haunt me today. However, here I am writing this testimonial about winning an award for supporting progression into higher education. 

Throughout my life I have wanted to prove that teacher wrong. This has given me the determination to ensure that the year 13 students I work with are shown that they can achieve greatness and aspire to achieve the goals and careers they deserve despite their backgrounds. Over the past 3 years I have had the challenge of ensuring that all year 13 students at Cardiff West Community High School aspire and achieve their ambitions and move into higher education. I have worked on supporting all students with their UCAS applications and ensuring that we have engaged with many universities. All the students I been involved with have gained university places. 

Receiving the award for supporting progression into higher education means that I have achieved my goal in ensuring that students know that they are valued in the world of education regardless of their background."

James Jones.png

‘’I was over the moon to be nominated for this award and ecstatic to win. Hearing the comments made about me from the year 10 students who nominated me, reminded me why I decided to become a teacher. It has been a difficult year for everyone, adjusting to blended learning and social distancing has been a struggle for so many and to be able to help even just one person with their mental wellbeing, is a reward." 


We’ve been astounded by the commitment, perseverance, passion and resilience of teachers and advisers throughout this period. You’ve kept learning going for your students in the most challenging of ways. Sêra Evans, Head of UK Student Recruitment