Kathy Wallis, National President of the NASUWT, the largest Teachers' Union in the UK, recently visited Liskeard School and Community College as part of her current programme of national and international school visits to meet with the Head Teacher, Alex Lingard, the Vice Chair of Governors, Ian Williams, the new President of the Cornish Executive Body of the NASUWT, Helen Leon, and many union members.

Ms Wallis was pleased to see that in Liskeard School, teachers and students thrive when teachers are empowered to focus on meeting the needs of the pupils they teach, rather than on paperwork and bureaucracy, as these were the values she focussed on in her inaugural speech.

Ms Wallis also commented that “Students will remember the teacher who showed they cared for each and every pupil and student, the teacher who had the confidence to believe in themselves and what they are doing and had the courage to build a connection with their students and to show them that they care.”

Ms Wallis, previously the SENCo at Bodmin College and now on the staff at Launceston College, talked to staff about her path to becoming National President.   She paid tribute to the ‘giants’ who had supported and inspired her during her journey, including her grandmother Emma Davey, a suffragette. “Which giant taught me about human rights and standing up for each other? An amazing woman who left me a huge legacy and a glass ceiling to break. A woman who demonstrated on the streets, who chained herself to railings and who defied those around her who said ‘women can’t and women shouldn’t’.  That’s how our human rights were won. By ordinary people coming together. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

This legacy inspired her trade union activism, she told union members. She flagged up some of the achievements of the movement in securing workers’ rights such as paid maternity leave, sick pay, workplace pensions and the minimum wage as well as dignity and respect in the workplace. She commented on the positive and respectful working relationships at Liskeard School.

Helen Leon said “We were really pleased to welcome Kathy to Liskeard and members enjoyed talking to her.”

Liskeard School Head Teacher Alex Lingard said “Our culture at Liskeard is based on co-operation and working together. This is why the relationships between staff and students are so strong. Everyone here is part of Team Liskeard and has equal value. It was great to hear someone at a national level, like Kathy, recognise the importance of such an ethos in supporting young people.”

Liskeard School Kathy Wallis

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Head Teacher: Mr Alex Lingard

Liskeard School & Community College
PL14 3EA

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