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Sylvia Paddock

My story

My career spans the personnel, training and education arena both in the public and private sector organisations.

A former Director of Human Resources and Professional Development with the Ministry of Defence, I qualified to teach post 16 students. Through quirks of fate I am also an industry qualified Project Manager and a National College certified trainer. I began working in the Education sector fulltime in the year 2000.

Working as Director of Training at King Edward VII School in Leicestershire, I was part of the senior team that established an on-site training centre for the professional learning of all staff in the school and it’s Family of schools (32 in total). I was also responsible for managing and designing and organising initial teacher training programmes, Fast Track programme teacher training activities and Newly Qualified Teacher Induction programmes. The centre provided a wide a varied programme of training for teaching and support staff and was also a community adult learning centre. I also taught key stage 4 & 5 students aspects of the business and enterprise and ICT curricula. The centre was awarded DfES ‘Training School’ status and was the winner of a National Training Award in 2003.

I have been working for SSAT for 9 years and have held a number of roles from the Head of CPD to leading the international work of its international arm, iNet. I am currently Director of Operations and this role allows me to be part of the Leadership Team, lead the on-going development of the Secondary School Membership offer, deliver bespoke international training and development programmes and provide commercial expertise in tendering for and delivering commercially secured contracts.

Why I love working here

For the variety of work and the huge privilege of being able to work with and gain insights into so many schools and school systems both in this country and abroad. My work at SSAT has been wide ranging but all of it has been focussed on whole school improvement and by default, improved chances for students. I view this as being the overarching morale driver which keeps me motivated.

The contracts I have helped design and deliver such as the London and Manchester Challenges’, the Building Schools for the Future programmes and the International Leadership of Learning Programme have been inspirational for many reasons. To have been a part of them and to witness the very tangible outcomes that have ultimately raised standards have been career highlights for me.

Anything else?

I adore skiing (not because I am an avid skier that is up at the crack of dawn and down on the last lift of the day) because I like nothing more that the beauty of a winter wonderland scene. I was lucky throughout my childhood to live in many countries around the world but some of my best family memories are of snowy, sunny conditions which I relive every year in a short one-week break in an Italian, Austrian or Swiss ski resort.