Our patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, visited Pen y Dre High School in Merthyr Tydfil yesterday to celebrate to work and achievements of Teach First Cymru since its inception in 2013.
Our valued development partners from a whole host of organisations came together with political and government stakeholders to hear about the scale of the issue of educational inequality in Wales and to discuss ways that all sectors can join together with us to advance the Fair Education Impact Goals. In Wales, pupils who are eligible for free school meals are 2.5 times less likely to get five A*-C GCSE grades than their wealthier peers, while only 14.1% of FSM-eligible pupils in Wales progress to Higher Education, compared to 44.1% of pupils from wealthier backgrounds.
Our vision at Teach First Cymru is to achieve a cultural shift across Wales, which establishes a national self-belief that all young people can achieve, irrespective of their background.
Since 2013, our teachers have taught in schools serving low-income communities in South Wales and this year we expanded into areas of North Wales. We currently have 88 participants working with 38 partner schools who are dedicated and passionate about making this change in Wales. We believe this can be done through effective leadership in the classroom, empowering our pupils to believe in themselves and striving for a brighter future.
The Prince spent time seeing the outstanding teaching being delivered by our participants and ambassadors in the area, as well as a variety of entertainment from the pupils. Starting with an extract of the school play Twelfth Night and a Welsh poem from Pen y Dre Head Boy, Macauley Morgan. His Royal Highness seemed to most enjoy Year 11’s Rhys Berry, Merthyr’s amazing (and Pen-y-Dre’s Got Talent Winner) Elvis impersonation.
Celebrating the impact that great teachers are making to the communities in which they work, The Prince remarked to all of our guests how much he supports what we do.