I don’t wish to waste your time, so let’s cover the essentials. My Linkedin profile provides a professional overview, experience, qualifications, honours, awards and endorsements and this blog provided a professional record of my teaching and leadership thinking since 2007.
Steps into teaching
From Loughborough University, I completed my NQT year at West Bridgford School before heading out to SIU Edwardsville, Illinois, USA to complete a Masters Degree and coach for the Cougars Soccer programme. I returned to England in 2000 accept and joined Richard Tauntons College as a teacher of Physical Education and Sport, whilst coaching with Southampton FC Academy. Within seven years I had made it to the position of Director of Sport before being encouraged to join Hamble Community Sports College a whole school role on offer. Within two years I had been invited onto the leadership team, married and started a family. With the arrival of our second child, I took a break and coaching with Southampton FC Academy.
In October 2012, I was asked to reapply to The Wellington Academy, following a strong interview the previous summer and I accepted the role of Vice Principal, Teaching, Learning Reporting and Assessment. I joined “at a difficult time” with the educational provision being in a “considerable state of disarray.” Our Ofsted inspection January 2014 resulted in a “requires improvement” judgement, which represented “considerable progress” given our starting point a year earlier. In August 2015, the Academy was celebrating, having secured it’s “Best ever” results. 50% of students achieved 5A*-C including English and Maths. In English 68% of students made expected progress and in Mathematics, 76% of students made expected progress, taking the school from bottom of Wiltshire’s 2014 Performance Tables in all headline measures, to now being the local school of choice for our community. Through a relentless focus on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, the Academy improved from the 85th to the 45th percentile nationally, for a significantly below average cohort. At GCE, the number of students achieving A*-A grades rose from 11% to 27% and students achieving A*-B rose from 27% to 47%.
In March 2016, Ofsted returned and judged the Academy a ‘Good School’ with notably key findings.
Leaders have nurtured a culture of higher aspiration, so that expectations of what pupils can and should achieve are higher.
Improvements in the quality of teaching are
as a result of leaders’ actions to share the best practice across the school and hold staff accountable for the progress that pupils make.
Whilst working at The Wellington Academy, I also secured a role with Ofqual as Subject Expert (GCE and GCSE Physical Education ) and Lead Reviewer for GCSE. I continued to work with ASCL and presented to senior colleagues on Leadership of Data (2012-15) and at the Deputy Head Teachers Conference (2015).
In May 2016 I took on a new challenge at Hindhead Campus, OneSchool. As Headteacher, I have led a Material Change Inspection, overseen two significant buildings projects (the third just started this summer), a school reorganisation, a full inspection and taken responsibility for my three sets of improving results.
The opening line of our inspection report a worthy acknowledgement of the effort of everyone involved at the school.
Focus School Hindhead Campus benefits from outstanding leadership, management and governance which have driven forward substantial improvements within a short period of time.
The school’s leadership and management are outstanding. This judgement is made despite the fact that the quality of education is not yet outstanding, because of the substantial and decisive impact on school improvement already made by senior leaders most of whom have not yet been in post for a full year.
This report is important, however, it is the views of our parents and students that are most important to me. In the space of little under a year our NPS score has improved markedly to levels of very high levels of parental satisfaction. They are now at the highest level in the school’s history.
Up until recently, I have always found time to be hands on, working with staff on education projects, designing schemes of work, lessons and learning assets, most often exploring how technology can augment student experiences. My aim is for these interests to continue. Co-organising Southern Rocks 2018 and the response to it, a memorable highlight from 2017-18. I have acted as school Governor to our local Primary School and this year I have taken up an opportunity to work with Best Practice Networks and their Senior Leadership qualifications. I continue to be focused on develop a trusting school culture and professional and I have accepted an advocacy role with the Education School Partnership.
My other guilty passion is exploring how education assessment (and data) can be more effectively used to inform teaching and learning, from a school leaders viewpoint, to enable educators to purposefully, decisively and intelligently, make the most of data for learning and from a learners self-directed viewpoint. Last year, I invested time reading and exploring how values and character can be encouraged in schools before moving this year onto complexity theory and Cultures of Thinking. Once that course was completed, it signposted the importance of building Trust in schools. That work on trust has resurfaced an interest in Coaching in Education for developing teachers and leaders.