Head of Teaching and Learning and Regional Lead – London
I started my teaching career in Manchester in 1987. In 1990 I moved to Birmingham and taught 8 very enjoyable and formative years in Chelmsley Wood before my final teaching post to date at Stratford upon Avon. I started my part-time Masters at Birmingham University in 1997. I also became a trained counsellor and set up a much needed drop-in centre at my school. I had a range of pastoral, departmental and whole school responsibilities throughout my teaching career, additionally I have worked in both the UK and USA on Easter and summer camps over a number of years.
In 2001, with family commitments I moved to London to a role in the very early days of the National Strategies in Bromley, working as a Mathematics Consultant I worked closely with schools to support but also to take only the parts that were appropriate from the Mathematics Strategy and make them context specific. I decided in 2004 to take the plunge into consultancy when the strategy seemed to be getting far too fragmented and prescriptive. I set up a company and was involved in many key national mathematics projects. During this time I started to work with SSAT on the Lead Practitioner Programme, I knew then that had to be the way forward-practitioners leading practitioners.
When I saw the commitment and ‘can do’ approach of everyone in the organisation I soon began to realise that this was a place that I wanted to be and where I could flourish. Being at the forefront of developments, research and innovation is exciting and SSAT has a strong role in distilling and translating pedagogical research and supporting schools and practitioners. I have overseen the Lead Practitioner programme, supporting over 2000 secondary schools over an 8 year period and the fore runner for SLEs; developed the Lead Practitioner Accreditation and framework with headteachers, practitioners and universities and the site has now been replicated for the Global Learning Programme.
In 2010 we were successfully awarded the TEEP programme from Gatsby to develop, nurture and grow it. It is now reaching over 250 schools nationally and internationally and 2013/14 sees even greater developments and growth. In 2012 we were awarded a £1million EEF TEEP grant over a 4 year period to support vulnerable students in challenging schools. The impact and stories have been inspirational – transforming school cultures through teaching and learning.
Why I love working here
It is a privilege to be in this position and be invited into schools and see so much passion, commitment and desire to make a difference and in so many creative and innovative ways. Working with leading academics and having the freedom to support practitioners at all levels and develop them as leaders of learning and translating effective research into the classroom is my driver. Teaching and Learning is and should be the main thing and this year I am embarking on an Ed D to be at the cutting edge of pedagogical research.
I worked in America over a five-year period, running a summer camp, and this started my love of travelling which is now shared by my family. My 11 year-old daughter is pretty good at road trips and embracing new cultures and experiences. I am also an avid football fan but sadly support Middlesbrough FC who have experienced some highs but more lows. Someone once asked why I support them, my response was that clearly I am from that area and not a glory seeker!