The first 10 years of my working life was spent as an administrator in the NHS. I had wanted to become a teacher, but my teachers had advised me not to do it! I studied for my BA (Hons) in Humanities (English and History) whilst continuing to work in the NHS. I did my PGCE (History) at the Institute of Education, London. As a mature entrant to teaching, my first post was Head of History at Rounds Manor School in Northamptonshire. I also worked at Sponne School, Towcester, and Herschel Grammar School, Slough, before becoming Headteacher of Monks’ Dyke School in Lincolnshire. I had eight very happy years there – we became a technology college; examination results went from 15% to 56% GCSEs 5 A*-C; introduced a sixth form; achieved Artsmark Gold; and built an Art and Science block, rural science block, and a new media centre.
I joined the SSAT in 2002 as Director of Affiliation with responsibility for membership, innovation and the National Conference. I developed SSAT’s suite of leadership programmes working with outstanding headteachers like David Carter and Mike Wilkins. I worked with Professor David Hargreaves on the personalising learning agenda, including writing three pamphlets. I also introduced iNet and worked with schools in Australia, China, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Wales and USA. In November 2011 I was appointed Chief Executive.
Why I love working here
It has always been a joy to visit schools and see the work they are doing with their students. I have also been fortunate to work with some of the world’s leading academics, particularly David Hargreaves, Brian Caldwell, David Jesson, Andy Hargreaves, Barry Carpenter and Dylan Wiliam.
I am an avid football fan – I support Ipswich Town and was at Wembley in 1978 to watch them win the F.A Cup.