YEP says: Praise for the Leeds lad who found inspiration and support from his teachers

Bishop Young Church of England Academy, Bishops Way, Seacroft, Leeds.'Pictured principal Paul Cooper and teaching assistant Connor Wood, who is also as a 200m runner and due to represent Great Britain in the European Championships later this year.'20th February 2019.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
Bishop Young Church of England Academy, Bishops Way, Seacroft, Leeds.'Pictured principal Paul Cooper and teaching assistant Connor Wood, who is also as a 200m runner and due to represent Great Britain in the European Championships later this year.'20th February 2019.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
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The story of Connor Wood is heartwarming - but it could have been so different. Without the intervention, and continued support of some very special teachers his life could have taken a very different path.

Now tipped as a future Olympian, and working in a school with his former mentors, he was a different person a decade ago. Connor says: “I was lucky enough to have a support network at school when I was younger, even when my behaviour was difficult they still stood by me.

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“If that can happen to me, then hopefully I can have a similar impact on other kids. I go to work and think someone at school could have their life changed today and it might me that helps them make that change.”

We expect a lot of our teachers looking to them not just to educate our children but to give them life skills, emotional support, moral guidance, cultural awareness - in short to turn out well-rounded citizens for the future.

Given that teachers also have increasingly complex measurements set against them and cope with a wide range of socially challenging behaviours - knife carrying, mental health issues, sexual assaults to mention just a few - it’s a wonder they find time for the curriculum let alone any pastoral care.

They found time for Connor and it’s fantastic that he’s repaying that by helping other youngsters.