GET ready for the fourth South Wales Argus Schools & Education Awards, which open for nominations on Monday.

We want to turn the spotlight onto the people and establishments making a real difference to the children, young people and mature students in our communities, and the initiatives that are encouraging a love of learning.

The awards exist to recognise hard work and dedication and to say a big thank you to those whose efforts can easily be taken for granted.

Here at the South Wales Argus, we know there are a lot of inspiring, good news stories to tell about education and learning, especially after the events of the past 18 months, and we hope that readers will show their appreciation of those who have gone the extra mile by taking the time to send in nominations.

We recognise that schools, colleges and pre-school establishments are the beating heart of our communities and represent the key to the future for our children and young people.

Managing director of the Argus, Hussain Bayoomi, says the Schools & Education Awards 2021 will be especially significant and, in many ways, poignant.

“The South Wales Argus is proud to announce the fourth Schools & Education Awards,” he says.

“We want to celebrate all those who have risen to the challenge over the past 18 months, who have overcome adversity, shown strength and have been innovative so that they can continue to encourage and mentor their pupils to help them achieve their full academic and social potential, as well as develop parent engagement and support fellow members of staff.

“We want to share their stories and create a permanent record of all those incredible achievements, showcasing their educational establishments.”

Over the coming weeks the Argus will be telling the stories of some of the winners from our third Schools & Education Awards, the names of whom were announced at the beginning of 2020, just a matter of weeks before the first lockdown to restrict the spread of Covid-19.

We hope these articles will serve as a reminder as to our good fortune in having such high calibre people working on behalf of our children and young people, as well as inspire entries for this year’s awards.

Making nominations for awards couldn’t be easier: visit to read the full criteria for each of the categories. From Monday there will be an online entry form to fill out, making the process of entering quick and easy.

For those unable to access a computer, nominations accompanied by supporting information and contact details should be sent to:

Schools & Education Awards, South Wales Argus, First Floor, Chartist Tower, Upper Dock Street, Newport, NP20 1DW

Virtual lessons were something that learners had to get used to in 2020 and 2021 and, in the spirit of keeping everybody safe, we’ll be announcing this year’s winners at a special celebration that we’ll be holding online.

And while we won’t be together in person, the number of people able to watch the awards and applaud the winners will be limitless, which means we can call share in the good news stories we’ll be showcasing.

Events such as the South Wales Argus Schools & Education Awards are a great way to show our appreciation to the people who make a difference in our lives, but they’re nothing without the input of you, our readers.

So, why not use the weekend to think of teachers, support staff, schools, colleges and others who have made a big difference to you or your children and send in an entry.

Opportunities for companies to support the South Wales Argus Schools & Education Awards are available.

To learn more about becoming a valued sponsor, please send an email to

The categories:

  • School of the Year. The overall winner on the evening.
  • Above and Beyond Award – sponsored by Caerphilly County Borough Council. Recognition of a person or group who have shown commitment to ‘going that extra mile’, such as helping a child fit in or raising money for an initiative.
  • Digital Innovation Award – sponsored by Monmouthshire Building Society. Excellence in the use of digital technology demonstrated by a positive impact on educational outcomes through use inside or outside the classroom.
  • Teaching Assistant of the Year. A truly inspirational individual who nurtures and supports children and helps them build confidence.
  • New Teacher of the Year. Recognising the fresh, enthusiastic and passionate approach a new teacher brings to their classroom and the ability to embrace technology and innovate. Open to qualified teachers working in classrooms for up to three years.
  • Further Education Lecturer of the Year. An inspirational individual who demonstrates knowledge and direction within the classroom. Nominations should highlight examples of how students have been inspired to achieve success and reach new heights.
  • Early Years Education Award – sponsored by University of South Wales. For innovative and successful childminders, nurseries, pre-schools or other organisations that really stand out. Entries should be able to demonstrate the impact their work has had.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – sponsored by Western Power Distribution. A member of the school community who has shown a commitment to the sector over many years. This could be a leader, teacher or member of support staff.
  • Head Teacher of the Year. For outstanding leadership, management, teaching skills and commitment by a head teacher. 
  • Primary Teacher of the Year. Inspirational and talented primary school teachers who develop pupils at the start of their educational journeys.
  • Secondary Teacher of the Year – sponsored by University of South Wales. An individual who inspires and engages within their classrooms in order for their students to achieve their full academic and social potential.
  • Best Welsh Language Initiative -  sponsored by Coleg Gwent. A school or initiative that has provided activities or learning for children and young people to increase their awareness of the value of the Welsh language in the classroom.  
  • Welsh Medium Teacher of the Year. Somebody who inspires and engages pupils to learn Welsh or helps them learn through the medium of Welsh.
  • Primary School of the Year. Tell us about improvements in attendance, parent engagement or exam results, partnerships with local or business communities, new green credentials or competition success. 
  • Secondary School of the Year. We want to know about an outstanding academic year, improvements in attendance levels, parent engagement or exam results, or partnerships in the local or business community, green credentials or competition success.

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