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.
“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.