06.04.19 mh VQ Awards St Cyres School 1

Teaching the teachers is inspiring the leaders of tomorrow

Promoting a culture of leadership amongst its teaching staff is inspiring pupils at one Penarth school to be passionate and motivated to become their best. This has resulted in St. Cyres School being named as a finalist in the prestigious Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards 2019.

St. Cyres School introduced the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management for its teaching staff in 2016, leading to higher-than-average performance results involving those taking part.

The school’s efforts have been recognised as a finalist in the Employer of the Year category of this year’s VQ Awards, which are designed to reward individuals and organisations for their commitment, hard work and achievements.

The school has enrolled a total of 20 learners, with a number going on to secure promotions as a direct result of the improved knowledge and understanding gained through the programme.

Dedicated mentors are allocated to all staff undertaking the apprenticeship programme, and assessors from training provider, Portal Training, are on hand to ensure learners are fully supported throughout the process so that new skills are developed and applied effectively within the workplace.

“By investing in staff learning and development, the benefits have filtered through the school. As such, motivation and passion for learning has been infectious for our students,” said Dr Jonathan Hicks, Head Teacher.

“As a school, we actively encourage our aspiring leaders to undertake vocational qualifications and we positively promote parity of esteem between academic and vocational learning. As a learning organisation, we are passionate about empowering staff, not just enabling the modelling of learning to pupils, but growing learning leadership.

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for this year’s VQ Awards. These awards are a recognition of the value we as employers place on vocational qualifications and the work undertaken to help our staff improve their skills.”
The school has worked closely with Portal Training to implement their learning programmes, with exciting future plans to include more alternative apprenticeship routes.

“The school actively promotes a culture of distributed leadership. The Leadership Team recognises the positive impact the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management Programme has on the competency of both their aspiring and current senior management members. This in turn is proving to have an impact upon their whole school improvement plan,” said Gwawr Booth, Managing Director of Portal Training.

Now in their 12th year, the VQ Awards celebrate those who use technical, practical and vocational qualifications to achieve success. A Vocational Qualification – VQ- award is a symbol of dedication towards your chosen profession. The awards help us to celebrate those Welsh learners, trainers and employers who are already going that extra mile when it comes to developing vocational skills and qualifications.

There are four award categories – VQ Learner of the Year – Intermediate, VQ Learner of the Year – Higher, VQ Trainer of the Year and VQ Employer of the Year – which encompass the spectrum of learning, training and employment.

Also shortlisted finalists in the Employer category, are Deloitte LLP and Scarlet Knight.

The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the National Museum Cardiff on May 15. The ceremony coincides with VQ Day, which celebrates vocational achievement and the benefits of technical, practical and vocational learning to both the individual and the Welsh economy.

The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government, the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), ColegauCymru/CollegesWales, Qualifications Wales and the Education Workforce Council. The Welsh Government’s funding has support from the European Social Fund.

Picture caption: St Cyres School Assistant Head Teacher Robert Bruton (left) and Head Teacher Dr Jonathan Hicks.

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