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County schools ‘responding well’

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Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 09.40.56CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has hailed significant improvements in the county’s schools in the most recent set of school categorisation tables issued by the Welsh Government on Thursday, January 29.

The categorisation scheme has replaced the much criticised banding system, although there have been substantial complaints about last minute changes to the categorisation criteria skewing the results of some schools.

The categorisation scheme is in four tiers: Green, Yellow, Amber, and Red.

Schools in the green category are already doing well and are deemed to be in need of the least support while schools in the red category are those identified as needing the most support.

Each school’s category is determined by a range of factors including the quality of its leadership, its performance data, self-evaluation by the school and its wider capacity to improve.

Nineteen of Carmarthenshire’s schools, including Bryngwyn Secondary school and St John Lloyd Catholic Comprehensive School, have been placed in the Green category, while none appear in the Red category.

Education Executive Board Member Cllr Gareth Jones said: “Today’s National School Categorisation System outcomes have shown that more schools across Carmarthenshire are responding well to the support provided by ERW and the Local Authority.

“There has been an 8% increase in the number of schools in the green/ yellow categories and there are no schools who need intensive support (red category).

“We congratulate our learners, school leaders, staff, governors and parents on this improvement.”

NUT Cymru Secretary, David Evans, said: “We shouldn’t make any specific judgements on the basis of categorization results alone. Schools in the green category may still need support in certain areas, while there is undoubtable excellent teaching and learning taking place within aspects of those schools placed in yellow, amber and red. We must see categorization as part of the wider evaluation of schools, and more specifically as a way of identifying what support is needed, rather than a simple mechanism for judgement.”

Managing Director of the Regional Education Consortium (ERW), Betsan O’Connor, said: “The primary purpose of the system is to identify the appropriate level of support for each school according to need and to ensure that, in partnership with schools and local authorities, we are able to direct our support and resources most effectively to secure the improvements necessary in our school system.”

Education Minister, Huw Lewis, said: “This is not about crude league tables or labelling schools –it is about directing the right support to schools that need it and ensuring improvements right across our school system. Ultimately it is about raising standards and supporting our schools to self-improve.”

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Family of power station worker calls on former colleagues to help with asbestos claim

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THE WIFE of a Carmarthenshire man, who was just 66 when he died of an asbestos-related cancer, is calling on colleagues who worked with him in the 1970s to help understand where and how he contracted the disease.

Peter Colton, from Llanelli, died in July 2021 after being diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.

He worked as a conveyor and weighbridge operator for the CEGB at Carmarthen Bay Power Station. During his time at the power station, his duties included offloading coal wagons and conveying coal to the boilers.

It is possible that Mr Colton was exposed to asbestos during those years and now his family has sought the help of local asbestos specialists J.M Parsons, to investigate a claim for compensation.

Ann Colton, Mr Colton’s wife, wants answers. She said: “Peter was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died just six weeks later. He had been suffering from shortness of breath and just had no quality of life.

“It was devastating to see someone who had been so healthy and active slowly get worse and worse. We just want to know where and how he was exposed to asbestos and hope someone out there can help us.”

According to data from the Health and Safety Executive, annual mesothelioma deaths in Britain increased steeply over the last 50 years, a consequence of mainly occupational asbestos exposures that occurred because of the widespread industrial use of asbestos during 1950-1980.

Amanda Jones is one of the specialists at J.M Parsons, which is owned by Thompsons Solicitors. Thompsons has paved the way for asbestos litigation in the UK ever since it brought about the first successful asbestos disease claim to the House of Lords in 1972, 50 years ago.

She said: “We would be grateful to hear from anyone who remembers working with Peter Colton in Carmarthen Bay Power Station in the 1970s or anyone who worked in the same field as Peter beyond the 1970s.

“Such individuals will be invaluable to Mr Colton’s family as they may be able to add important information that will assist us in building a civil claim. We hope that we will then be able to answer questions about the conditions that Mr Colton worked in during his working life.”

Anyone with information should contact Amanda Jones on 01554 779940, or via email at amanda@jmplaw.co.uk.

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Business

Carmarthenshire cheese maker secures Co-op listing

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Caws Cenarth award

A CHEESEMAKER from Carmarthenshire has secured its first listing with the Co-op as part of the retailer’s continued focus on local and community sourcing.

Family-owned Caws Cenarth, which has cheese making in the family dating back to 1903, will now see two of its cheeses listed in more than 20 Co-op stores across the region.

Made on farm in Glyneithinog, Caws Cenarth will supply Co-op with its Organic Caerffili – which has a light and lemony taste with hints of sea salt – and, one of its best known cheeses the Organic Perl Las Mini – which is described as a blue cheese, golden in colour, with a creamy, gently salty taste that grows stronger with maturity.

Carwyn Adams, whose parents rekindled the family tradition for cheese making in 1987 with the creation of Caws Cenarth, said: “We are absolutely thrilled. I shop in our local Co-op and regularly thought how nice it would be to see our cheese on the shelf and, now that is to become a reality. Working with Co-op will support our business development, and raise awareness of our cheeses, not only across the region, but also further afield as visitors to the area often look for local produce to take back home with them as gifts or to remind them of their stay in the area.”

Jo Wadsworth, Co-op’s Community Buying Manager, said: “We are delighted to welcome Caws Cenarth onto our shelves. We know that our Members and customers value the quality and provenance of locally produced food and drink and, here at the Co-op we are focussed on supporting local suppliers as part of our commitment to creating value and making a difference in our local communities.”

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Education

Carmarthenshire Council offers career opportunities through new Care Academi 

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Cllr Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Social Care

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has launched a new Care Academi which offers exciting opportunities to those looking for a career in social work or social care.

Open to all ages, the Academi will provide training, support and guidance to successful applicants, enabling them to earn while they learn and choose a career path that suits them best.

With a blend of on-the-job training and education, there are various opportunities to explore the variety of social care and social work roles on offer.

All applicants must have a minimum of two GCSEs (grade A* – D) or equivalent in English, Welsh or Maths.

Cllr Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Social Care said: “Our new Care Academi offers fantastic opportunities to those looking for a career in social work or care.

“Successful applicants could achieve a degree in social work or a level five management qualification, but there are also opportunities throughout the programme to find an alternative role that suits you best if completing a degree isn’t for you.

“If you are motivated, have a positive attitude and are looking for the first exciting step in a new career then we want to hear from you and welcome your application.”

For more information or to apply please visit www.Carmarthenshire.gov.wales/careacademi 

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