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
After 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, joining Richard Tauntons College as a teacher of Physical Education and Sport, whilst also coaching with Southampton FC Academy.
After seven fantastic years, as Director of Sport, I was encouraged to join Hamble Community Sports College, with the offer of a whole school role, leading IT and Educational Technology. Within two years, I had been invited onto the leadership team, married and started a family. With the arrival of our second child and new role of Vice Principal (Teaching, Learning Reporting and Assessment) at The Wellington Academy in January 2013, I stepped back from coaching football.
I joined The Wellington Academy “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. With two years hard graft, 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 led a successful Material Change Inspection, oversaw two significant buildings projects, reorganised the staffing and administration structures, led a full inspection and taken responsibility for my three years of improving students outcomes. And as busy as we were, we still found time to organise Southern Rock 2018, a national, grass roots CPD event.
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 professionally. In the space of little under a year our NPS score has improved markedly and was at its highest in the school’s history, when I decided to accept a new adventure overseas.
In April 2019, I made my way overseas to the UAE. It is a steep and exciting personal and professional journey however regrettably, our overseas adventure did not work out for us as a family and we returned to Southampton later that year. I immediately returned to the classroom full time as we repatriated and settled the family, before we all encountered the global pandemic.
As well as supporting my students, I invested time developing my professional interest in Organisational Management, personal and professional development, Coaching and Mentoring having qualified as a Level 5 Coach in December 2019.