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Former police chief hopes to be class act in new role

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 04, 2012

By jason evans

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LAST week he retired as the most senior police officer in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot but now he is back at work — in the classroom.

Mark Mathias stepped down on Friday after 32-years in South Wales Police but his retirement lasted a matter of days — the former chief superintendent is now working at Dylan Thomas Community School in Cockett.

Mr Mathias will be responsible for helping to mentor youngsters doing the Welsh Baccalaureate.

He said: "I spent more than 30 years in an organisation that makes a difference — now I am going to another organisation that makes a difference in another way.

"Dylan Thomas has a team of dedicated teachers, and I am looking forward to helping them.

"It is going to be a new challenge for me, and one I am very much looking forward to."

Perhaps it is not too surprising that the former Llanelli Grammar School pupil should end up in the classroom — he cites his former sportsmaster Wyn Oliver as a major influence on his future life.

After leaving school the Hendy miner's son joined the South Wales Police cadets, than at 18-and-a-half he signed up for the force proper.

He began by walking the beat in Mumbles before moving to CID, then going on to take charge of Special Branch, leading the creation of the all-Wales serious and organised crime unit, Tarian, and then in 2007 becoming chief super in Swansea, which later merged with Neath Port Talbot to former the enlarged western division, the biggest in the force.

In 2011 he was awarded the Queen's Police Medal for distinguished service. As a learning coach the ex-policeman will be spending one-on-one time with each youngster, helping them to develop personal skills, solve problems, achieve goals and plan their learning.

Dylan Thomas head teacher Rob Phillips said: "We are very pleased that Mark wants to come here.

"Mark has a wealth of management ability, great communication skills and tremendous life experience. He has dealt with all kinds of people and situations during his police career, and can bring that with him.

"I have worked with Mark over the years and he has always been very supportive of young people — he knows a great deal about the challenges they face and can bring that insight to the job too."

And it seems the head teacher is not the only one who wants the former chief super at Dylan Thomas.

Mr Phillips said: "Mark was interviewed by the pupils as part of the selection process — and they unanimously wanted him."

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  • BobDavies2  |  December 04 2012, 9:30PM

    Mark Mathias can offer pupils something many of the teachers at the school wouldn't be able to do, he has attended the University of "LIFE", his experience over the past 30 years must be immense, and has seen difficult situations that i would imagine didn't always end in court, but required diplomatic resolve. His wealth of personal experience and circumstances he has dealt with over his career, will be of interest to these pupils, there's nothing like learning from someone that's been there & bought the tee shirt!. OK he gets his pension, but has so much to offer that anyone that wants the best for their children wouldn't begrudge it, its more of the older generation we need in schools acting as mentors, along side regular teachers.

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  • Neathboy234  |  December 04 2012, 4:23PM

    Dan01 and swanseajock i have to agree. By the time i reach 60 i will have been paying into my private pension for over 40 year. In total i will have 47 years pension, and i'm going to enjoy spending every penny of it.

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  • swanseajock  |  December 04 2012, 4:16PM

    by intelligent1......so after working for 30 years, and paying mostly 11% of his wages into the pension that he is fully entitled to, you don't think that he should get it, because rather than sit in the house he has chosen to help society by helping the youngsters. Pathetic attitude, but rather typical of the small-minded, green-eyed attitude that seem to abound

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  • Dan01  |  December 04 2012, 4:11PM

    He earned his police pension. Why shouldn't he be allowed to take on another job, public or private sector? I wouldn't personally, but individual choice. Nobody would benefit if he were to put his feet up and watch telly all day. He's still a young fella with loads of experience to share with youngsters.

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  • Neathboy234  |  December 04 2012, 3:14PM

    intelligent1 of course he will lol. Mind u he'll be paying a fair bit of tax, so at least he'll be paying his own way. I know when i hopefully retire at 60 that will be the end of my working days. My wife's on about moving back to her native France, i'm not so sure myself. At least it will be a bit warmer over there.

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  • intelligent1  |  December 04 2012, 1:23PM

    hopefully he is not getting a pension from the police force and now working in another job funded by the public sector.

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