Cardiff Head and Deputy Headteacher scoop top prize in National Awards for Wales


Lansdowne Primary School Headteacher Michelle Jones and her Deputy Head, Catherine Cooper have won first prize in the St David's Awards, the national awards of Wales.

The two senior leaders received the award in the Critical Key Worker category for thesupport they showed to families at their school during the coronavirus pandemic.

In an anonymous nomination for the Welsh Government prestigious awards, Michelle and Catherine were describedas being the ‘heart of Lansdowne Primary School, making it the safe, loving, supportive and ambitious community that it is.'

The award recognises thetireless work undertaken by Michelle and Catherine during the Covid-19 pandemic and the ways in which they went above their duties to ensure that vulnerable children and families received help and support during a very difficult time, working long days and putting their own personal lives on hold to support the community in a variety of ways.

The nomination went onto say how the pair provided support and childcare provision for children of key workers and vulnerable children including transporting children to ensure they were able to attend school, providing families with food and other essentials and making themselves available 24/7 to offer help and advice to the community.

During this time, the school, under their care, became a beacon of safety and the community leant on them for advice, reassurance and support. The well-being of staff in the school too was extremely important to them and they recognised the emotional impact on all of the school community. They also provided vital support to families who experienced loss during the pandemic.

Reflecting on the award, Headteacher Michelle Jones said: "We have been truly humbled and honoured to receive the award for the support we offered the school community during the pandemic. We feel privileged to have won and feel that we only did what all other headteachers/deputy headteachers and teams did throughout the pandemic. We are very lucky to have a great team at Lansdowne and within our cluster who we worked alongside throughout, supporting our communities during a very difficult time."

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: "This is a remarkable achievement and Cardiff Council would like to extend its gratitude to Michelle and Catherine for their contribution during covid-19.

"Like many of our schools, the efforts of staff ensured that pupils, families and their wider communities were supported during some of the most difficult periods the city has ever experienced.

"Congratulations to Michelle and Catherine, a fine example of Cardiff working together for our residents."