Originating from the West Midlands, I graduated in Geology and Physical Education at Liverpool and then moved to London to pursue my post-graduate teaching qualification, adding Geography to Physical Education for my PGCE. I have travelled widely, starting my career in the East end of London, then moving to work in Lima, Peru for 3 years, followed by world travel for a further year through 26 countries. I am extremely proud of my children, currently studying Ancient History and Politics at Cardiff University and Geography at Liverpool University respectively.
I have worked in ten schools of all types, from inner city, through rural, City Technology College, Public School and Academies. Originally a Physical Education and Geography Teacher, I held the positions of Head of Geography and Housemaster as well as Head of Physical Education in two schools. More recently, I gained the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH) in 2004, held two Deputy Headteacher positions before becoming an academy Executive Principal and now an Executive Headteacher.
I am currently Executive Headteacher at Summerhill School in the West Midlands. A potentially great community, with wonderful children, had unfortunately lost its way, with student progress very poor for both the most and least able. Through a concentration upon positivity, excellence and simplicity of focus, examination results have transformed from the worst results that the school had ever achieved, to the best, in one year. We are now building a sustainable future for Summerhill and the school is coming to life area by area with students increasingly taking advantage of the opportunities being offered by the enthusiastic and dynamic new staff who have joined those staff who have chosen to remain to create our beacon school, aiming well beyond Ofsted Outstanding.
In my role as Executive Principal of KBA, an age 4-19 academy with 1530 students, we transformed the student experience from a very difficult past. I am proud of the sustainable leadership which is now in place, which I either coached towards excellence or appointed and the future is now bright. Passionate positivity and the highest aspiration is sustainably displayed by the community; a complete contrast to their past. The academy is now progressing very well, emulating and improving upon best UK practice. During this time, I also led the Midlands cluster of academy Principals, forging collaboration and sharing of support for the benefit of all.
I have worked in exceptional schools, however, as a senior leader I have specialised in transforming schools in difficulty, e.g. helping to lead Clevedon School from an Inadequate grade 4 through to an Outstanding grade 1. The methodology for transforming Clevedon often entailed making bold innovative decisions, including my introductions of iPads for all, a fully vertical House System and the smartest uniform in the UK.
My view is that education should be focused purely upon excellence, with all decisions being based upon the best solution and never the easiest if this is not the best. I also believe that schools should aim for more fun than either students or staff thought possible. At Clevedon we hosted over 40 schools who visited to see and learn about the exceptional ethos which grew with the House System which became known as one of the greatest House Systems in the UK (we took this further at KBA, taking the system to higher levels and I have now introduced a similar system at Summerhill). Schools are for learning, of all types. Learning is facilitated through a truly flexible and inclusive curriculum to enable all students to achieve at whatever level represents excellence for them. I have been a senior leader and manager for 20 years and have provided consultancy on many areas across school leadership detailed on my consultancy page.
Building upon the superb quality of independent learning, I led the largest iPad 1:1 project in the UK, the 35th largest deployment in the world. I posted updates on @iClevedon & www.iclevedon.co.uk, where you can follow the progress of the project.
Over recent years, our family relaxation time was spent cruising the English Channel in our motor cruiser based at Dartmouth in south Devon, with Channel crossings to Brittany and a bottle of wine never far away.
[The header photo above shows our boat (centre!) safely berthed in St. Helier harbour 2010.]