A little about my experience
I followed a somewhat unusual route to education that has shaped my approach and outlook since. A late developer academically, I found it hard to engage with school and left aged 16 to become a motor vehicle mechanic, taking up an apprenticeship first with British Leyland and then with Fiat.
I was completely unprepared for the personal transformation that then occurred. Subject content that had meant little to me as at school suddenly came alive with an engine in front of me, and I found myself keen to learn as much as I could, firstly completing my apprenticeship and taking opportunities to stretch myself into management courses.
The idea of stepping out of industry to gain a degree came one evening on the way home from work when I saw an advert in the evening paper, offering sponsored teaching degrees with the ILEA. My first experience in the classroom was enough to convince me that I was never going back, I had fallen in love with teaching!
A Head of Department in my second year of teaching, I embraced the learning journey alongside my students and engagement and progress naturally came wherever I led. A Masters in Educational Management encouraged me to study the pedagogy of my subject and drew me to explore the use of information technology to enhance the learning experience; a passion that has stayed with me since. I moved from Head of Department to Deputy Headteacher in my 13th year of teaching, and a whole new learning journey began.
Two roles as Deputy Head across two very diverse schools prepared me for my first journey to Headship. For the next 11-and-a-half years, I enjoyed two successful headships in Kent and London, during this time I was privileged to work with some outstanding creative teachers and some of the most diverse and exceptional students that one could wish to meet.
For two years I was Chair of the Hounslow Secondary Improvement Partnership and at this time, led a small but dynamic group of school leaders as we wrote and submitted a successful Free School bid for a new 11-19 secondary school in the borough (Bolder Academy). Buildings have been designed and with a Designate Principal now appointed, I look forward to seeing the opening of this dynamic new school.
In January 2017 I decided to step down from headship to concentrate on using my experience and expertise to assist schools and school leaders as they manage a demanding accountability system, with ever reducing school budgets and a severe shortage of subject teachers. The role of school leader can be a lonely one at the best of times; I believe that I will be able to bring a level of expertise, clarity, and optimism to the table that will allow fresh, creative solutions to complex problems.
I am excited to be working alongside school leaders to help to provide all students with the opportunity to be the very best that they can be.