I worked in schools for over 45 years in almost every job title (I think the only thing I have not been trusted with is actually cooking school meals – a happy escape to all those diners!) I have been a class teacher, SENCO, support staff cover, a co-Headteacher and for the last 20 years, a Headteacher of a Southwark school with an outstanding OFSTED rating and the first school in the borough to achieve a place in the Sunday Times Top 10 Schools [nationally]. More importantly it is a school that every visitor wants to return to, with children that are polite and respectful and a stable and outstandingly excellent staff. The hardest decision I needed to make was to retire from the job I love – but know that I am not someone who can simply give it all up. Hence this new venture.
My favourite subjects, the ones I enjoy teaching more than anything else, are Maths and Art and I have always believed that being a class teacher is the best job of all. I was there when the world gave us a pandemic, endless curriculum changes and the widening of roles and responsibilities that meant I needed to be a CEO, building expert, LA liaison and counsellor – but class teacher still takes first prize.
What gets us through all that? Well, for me it was talking and listening to children and reminding everyone that visited school that “everything starts and ends with the children”. You may think that is an easy statement to make, after all that is obvious isn’t it? Sadly, not to some. It has been my mission forever and I still think they are the reason²believe in what we do and give it purpose.
So, if we do get to work together, you will now know what to expect and where loyalties lie. But we also want to stress that “the people who know what’s best for a school is the people who work there” and not always those ‘visitors’ who believe they know better. If we do not know the answer to what you need, we will know someone who does (but changing the whole of the teaching and learning world may be a little much!)