Moreton Hall's Sylvia Grace, 82, has been given the Tes Lifetime Achievement Award for her significant contributions to education and teaching excellence. The awards were announced in a virtual ceremony on Friday, the same day the school, near Oswestry, was also named Tes Boarding School of the Year 2021.
Mrs Grace has worked in education for nearly seven decades, serving as head of Moreton Prep, and as deputy head at several schools, among other roles. She also founded the Arden School in North Wales.
“Sylvia’s lifetime of achievement in education truly is extraordinary,” said George Budd, principal at Moreton Hall.
“She exemplifies teaching excellence by setting a high standard and enabling everyone to reach it. She is revered by generations of pupils, parents and staff and is the champion of every young person in her care. This award is richly deserved.”
Mrs Grace has tried to retire at least four times, but was lured back to continue her career. Most recently, she served as acting head of Moreton Prep, stepping down from the role in April with the appointment of John Bond.
Through one of education’s most turbulent periods she has been at school seven days a week, helping educate the children of key workers.
Despite her age placing her in a high-risk category, she insisted on working all the overnight duties herself.
Mrs Grace still has not retired. Since winning the award, she continues to teach and has moved to become acting housemistress.
Carolyn Tilley, vice principal at Moreton Hall, said: “In her incredible career, Sylvia has had the ability to discover a talent in every child she has taught. Her patience and kindness to both pupils and staff is something that we can all learn from and aspire to.”
Asked why she keeps teaching, Mrs Grace said: “I enjoy being with the children.”
And her secret to success? “A lot of it is just common sense," she said.