TWO headteachers in Barry have been chosen as a select group of teachers helping to tackle the impact poverty has on attainment at school.

Innes Robinson, headteacher of Whitmore High School, and Janet Hayward OBE, executive headteacher of Cadoxton and Oak Field Primary Schools, have been recruited by the Welsh Government as two of seven headteachers across Wales to become “attainment champions”.

The pilot programme will run for six months with the role of the attainment champion providing peer-to-peer support to schools, and to help inform Welsh Government policy around educational attainment.

Mr Robinson was selected for his experience as an Estyn Peer Inspector and is currently completing a doctorate, with a particular focus on the effect poverty has on attainment.

Ms Hayward has 22 years’ experience as a headteacher in Barry.

She chaired both the task and finish group which created the vision for Hwb and the National Digital Learning Council for five years.

Ms Hayward also led the creation of the original “Big Bocs Bwyd” shipping container and “pay as you feel” food shops at Cadoxton and Oak Field.

Barry And District News:

(Janet Hayward recently oversaw the roll-out of project Big Bocs Bwyd converting shipping containers to become a focal point for hands-on learning) 

Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles was delighted with those chosen. 

“Those appointed have demonstrated sustained progress in addressing the impact of poverty on educational attainment,” said Mr Miles.

“They have strong experience of mentoring and insight into the increasing pressures the cost- of-living crisis is having on families. I very much look forward to working with you all over the next six months.”

The National Academy for Educational Leadership helped recruit the attainment champions.

Its chief executive, Tegwen Ellis, said it was crucial that poverty within education was tackled.

“We are extremely pleased that the National Academy for Educational Leadership is to be leading this important pilot on behalf of Welsh Government,” said Mr Ellis. 

“Tackling the impact of poverty on education is a priority for us all and the attainment champions will provide us with an approach to do this.”

Welsh Government's magnificent seven attainment champions to tackle school poverty

  • Janet Hayward OBE, Executive Headteacher of Cadoxton and Oak Field Primary Schools in Barry.
  • Heather Nicholas, Headteacher at Tonyrefail Community School
  • Jennifer Ford, Headteacher at Treorchy Comprehensive School in Rhondda Cynon Taff
  • Joe Cudd, executive headteacher Ysgol Pen Rhos and Ysgol Pentip in Llanelli.
  • Innes Robinson, Headteacher of Whitmore High School in Barry.
  • Stuart Davies, Headteacher at Cathays High School in Cardiff
  • Gethin Davies, headteacher of Ysgol y Bedol, Cwmaman in Carmarthenshire