IS THERE a Mrs Booth at your school, college or early learning centre; somebody who regularly goes above and beyond to make your child’s educational journey the best it can possibly be?

If the answer is yes, then why not show your appreciation by entering them for the South Wales Argus Schools & Education Awards, held in association with Cardiff Metropolitan University.

We’re looking to honour those people who make a real difference to children and young people in South Wales, whether they’ve especially risen to the challenges posed by the past 22 months, or have continued to do what they’ve always done in providing outstanding help, support and care.

This is your chance to shine a light on the amazing work that’s taking place and pay tribute to those unsung heroes who are the oil in our educational engines.

Learning support manager Terri Booth of Bassaleg School was the person found to go ‘above and beyond’ at the South Wales Argus Schools & Education Awards in 2020, although her plans to retire the same year were put on hold because of her dedication to easing the passage of cluster school pupils with additional needs into secondary education and helping Year 11 students as they transition into higher education at Coleg Gwent’s Crosskeys and Nash Colleges. She also works with children who experience ‘anxiety-based school avoidance’ to get them back into education.

Terri was nominated by various parents and teachers.

“It made me feel very proud,” she says. “I don’t think anybody deliberately works towards going above and beyond, it just happens.

“Everybody at school was really excited about it..”

Much of Terri’s role involves helping children who are identified as having additional needs, such as those on the autistic spectrum; she works out how to accommodate those needs in what is a very different setting to what they’re used to at primary school.

Terri’s approach is very much a holistic one, which often means addressing the anxieties of parents alongside those of the individuals themselves.

“Education is the main focus, but we cannot help them if everything else is not in place,” she explains.

“I work closely with parents, teachers and other professionals who know the children.”

Terri has been working at the 1,800-pupil Bassaleg School in Newport for around 20 years, after moving to the city from London, where she had worked in law.

“After having my own children I used to go into schools to help and absolutely loved it and it went on from there,” she says.

“What I love most about my job is the variety and the feedback I get; it’s a great feeling to be able to make positive changes to children’s lives, and those of their parents too.

Covid-19 has represented a significant challenge for Terri and her colleagues, and led her to defer her plans to retire.

“It’s been unbelievably busy,” she says. “We’ve had to adapt to a new way of working and it’s been hard for the children, who have had no structure to their day.

“I love my job and put everything into it.”

  • Tell us about the Mrs Booth at your school, but don’t delay! Nominations for all categories in the South Wales Argus Schools & Education Awards must be in by Friday January 28. Visit: to find out more and post your entries.