As a teacher and leader I have devoted my entire career to working in East Lancashire. During this time I have been fortunate to work in some great schools and also in some more challenging circumstances, all of which have helped my outlook on leadership and how to do the right things.
Habergham High School in Burnley provided me with a great start to my teaching career. A school with a positive, can-do attitude where I was able to develop my teaching also recognised my communication skills. My headteacher often set me tasks to report back on events, to the whole school in assembly, and then later I took over the publicity and marketing for the school and its sixth form. I was also a pastoral head of year alongside my P.E. teaching including delivering ‘A’ Level, gaining experience of different aspects of school life.
In 2002 I became Director of Sixth Form at Habergham and completed my NPQH studies in 2004 before moving to Gawthorpe H.S. as deputy headteacher for curriculum and timetabling. I had a year as acting headteacher in 2006 when the Building Schools’ for the Future (BSF) programme was starting and this convinced me that I wanted to become a headteacher.
Following the BSF re-organisation in 2006 I was appointed as deputy headteacher at Shuttleworth College. In late 2007 the school was put into Special Measures by Ofsted. This period of my teaching career was both the most challenging and the most rewarding and informative. As part of the team that took Shuttleworth out of Special Measures I learned about every aspect of school improvement. I was already doing curriculum and timetabling but the knowledge I gained in relation to finance, staffing, leadership and incremental gains in school improvement was invaluable. There is no better feeling than Ofsted telling you that you are out of Special Measures.
Following this I was delighted to be appointed as headteacher at The Hollins in 2011. During this time I have led the school through two Ofsted inspections maintaining ‘Good’ in all areas. We have also become a National Teaching School and National Support School and I have led the creation of the East Lancashire Teaching School Alliance (ELTSA).
Since 2014 I have been working with the Local Authority to provide support in a wide range of school improvement areas. This is both rewarding and beneficial to my own school. In June 2017 I became an NLE and I have continued to support a number of schools working with both the LA and as the lead for ELTSA. The main areas I have supported are Developing Middle and Senior Leaders; Curriculum and Timetabling; Whole School Improvement Planning and Behaviour Review and Analysis. I am also skilled in the areas of SMSC and Leading Change.
I have represented Lancashire Secondary Schools on the Schools’ Forum since 2013 and became chair of the Schools’ Block in 2016 playing a key role in working with the LA officers and making recommendations to all Lancashire Schools in relation to funding, services and other key areas.
In my role as an NLE I always hope to assist in creating long-term improvement and a better education for pupils in these schools.