Two Welsh schools named finalists for global education prize
A school which set up a “pay as you feel” food shop, launderette and uniform store to support struggling families is a finalist for a global education prize.
Cadoxton Primary School, in Barry, south Wales, is one of two schools in the UK which have reached the final three for the T4 Education World’s Best School prizes.
The Welsh seaside town state school has been shortlisted among the world’s best for overcoming adversity in recognition of its efforts to tackle food poverty amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Another school in Wales, Cardiff Sixth Form College – a private school – has made the final three of the global prize for supporting healthy lives.
The international school runs a pastoral programme designed to promote positive mental and physical health among its high-achieving A-level students.
Students are set tasks, such as volunteering, for which they are awarded points over the course of two years.
The winners of the five World’s Best prizes – for community collaboration, environmental action, innovation, overcoming adversity, and supporting healthy lives – will each receive 50,000 US dollars (£40,000).
Last year, Dunoon Grammar School, a state secondary school in Scotland, was crowned winner of the global prize for community collaboration.
Janet Hayward, executive head of Cadoxton Primary School, said nearly two in five (38%) of their pupils are eligible for free school meals.
She said: “The cost-of-living crisis has really decimated a lot of our families in this area. We’ve had parents coming in tears who found themselves in a situation they never have before.”
Children and parents run the “pay as you feel” food shop, first launched in June 2020, in a shipping container outside the school community centre.
The school has been able to assist over 60 other schools across Wales in setting up their own Big Bocs Bwyd (Big Food Box) shops to help families.
On being shortlisted for the award, Ms Hayward said: “This is real recognition of the incredible commitment and hard work of our community, school and families who are passionate in the pursuit of removing barriers and providing the best possible life experiences to enable everyone to thrive.”
Gareth Collier, principal of Cardiff Sixth Form College, said: “I think some of the issues and challenges our students face come from the very intense academic nature of the school.
“We’ve had people here who’ve effectively moved from being very insular, to people here who are very academic and very outgoing.”
Vikas Pota, founder of T4 Education, said: “Congratulations to Cadoxton Primary School and Cardiff Sixth Form College on being named Top 3 finalists for the World’s Best School Prizes 2023.
“You, and your fellow finalists, have inspired me with the leadership, vision and culture you have fostered and for the exceptional teaching and learning environment you have built.
“As the world seeks to tackle a deepening education crisis, these outstanding UK schools light the path to a better future. It’s time for governments everywhere to listen to your voices and learn from your expertise.”
The winners of each of the five prizes will be announced in November.
A prize of 250,000 US dollars (£200,000) will be shared equally among the winners of the five categories.
Welsh education minister Jeremy Miles said: “It’s brilliant to see two Welsh schools as finalists for this prize.
“I’m so proud of the important work Cadoxton Primary School do to support pupils and families. The school has been a big part of helping the Welsh Government find the best ways to tackle the impact of poverty on educational achievement.
“Llongyfarchiadau to Cardiff Sixth Form College too, it is great to hear how their students have been focusing on their physical and mental health – an important priority for all schools in Wales. Pob lwc pawb!”
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