Sylvia King

Sylvia King

Head of Post 16 and Vocational and Regional Lead – South East

My story

Before embarking on a career in education I had a number of jobs which included data processing for ICL, running pubs and a nightclub, administration for the biggest A& E in the South of England – a somewhat eclectic mix! In 1988 I moved to a new town and got involved with TVEI, which involved me working part time in a secondary school – a year in I was hooked and applying for my PGCE!

During my teaching career I specialised in Vocational Education and was excited by the range of opportunities that this route gave students of all abilities. Students did well – not because this was an ‘easy’ route but because they became engaged in learning and could see a direct benefit from their hard work. I worked in a range of schools and colleges, mostly with 14 -19 students. In addition to teaching I became involved in a range of education related ‘extra’ roles including Principal examiner for AQA, External verifier for Edexcel and a consultant for LSN and QCA. I left the classroom to become a 14 -19 adviser for Brighton & Hove LA.

I joined the SSAT in 2006, initially part time to prepare the way for the introduction of the Diploma programme. After one term I moved into a full time co-ordinator role and then to a quality manager in 2007. Since 2009 I have been Head of Programme for Post 16 and Vocational – although my role is not exclusively within these areas. I work with individuals, schools, colleges and LA’s in a range of ways through visits, bulletins and events to inform and promote excellent practice in post 16 and vocational teaching and learning.

Why I love working here

Working for SSAT is a real privilege, I am able to devote time to helping our members ‘put policy into practice’ – particularly rewarding when the rate of change has been so fast in recent years. I still enjoy going into schools and working with ‘real’ teachers – the overwhelming priority at SSAT is to ensure that what we do makes a difference to teaching and learning and I love that focus.

Anything else

I love to travel and I love the sunshine so I make the most of my annual leave with lots of short trips!