A Pembrokeshire College lecturer has been honoured with a Silver Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education, and is in the shortlist for Gold!

David Jones, Learner Transition Co-ordinator from Pembrokeshire College was selected from thousands of nominations to win a Pearson National Teaching Silver Award.

David was honoured for his outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the learners that he works with every day. He has spent years working with vulnerable learners with diverse needs. He is dedicated to ensuring that all learners have a voice and are celebrated for their skills and talents as well as their diversity.

Each year, David dedicates almost 100 hours of his spare time to ensuring that learners are fully supported and coached, enabling them to demonstrate their skills in competitions. His infectious positive attitude and ethos around what can be achieved with a solution-focused mindset has a dramatic impact on all who meet him.

From across-Wales organisations to individual learners and their families, David is changing lives with his commitment.

David has now been shortlisted to win one of just 16 Gold Awards, which will be announced and celebrated at a gala ceremony in London on November 25 and televised on the BBC, with winners showcased on The One Show.

David’s achievement was announced on National Thank a Teacher Day, an annual event celebrating the role of educators across the UK for the valued role they play in communities and shaping young people. This year, students were joined by celebrities including Sir Michael Morpurgo, Edith Bowman, Bobby Seagull, Ore Oduba and Nadiya Hussain to mark their teachers' achievements.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education run by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity now in its 25th year, that recognises the life-changing work that takes place in education, highlighting the vital role educators play and the work that’s delivered in schools and colleges every day.

Michael Morpurgo, author, former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, says: “I am inspired by the devotion of teachers and the huge impact they have on the lives of the young people they tutor, support, encourage and motivate day in and day out. The valuable role they play both inside and outside the classroom has inspired generations of young people across the country to achieve their potential. I am delighted to congratulate the winners of the 2023 Awards and thank them all for the amazing contributions they have made to our communities.”

Sharon Hague, Senior Vice President of Schools at Pearson UK, added: “We would like to congratulate today’s Silver winners on their incredible achievements. We can’t underestimate the huge contribution schools make to our young people’s lives and David is an inspiring example of the positive impact an individual can have on pupils and communities.”

Matt Waring, Education and B2B Channel Manager at Logitech, sponsor of The Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education commented: “On a daily basis, outstanding educators play a critical role in fostering the potential of students across the UK and nowhere is this more important than in special needs education. We take great pleasure in recognising this contribution through our association with the Pearson National Teaching Awards. Congratulations to David on this outstanding recognition.”