I consider myself extremely fortunate to be part of the Rodillian Multi Academy Trust. The support and guidance I have received as both a Middle and Senior leader within the Trust has been exceptional.
I joined Rodillian High School in September 2008 and, from the outset, I was having discussions with both the Head and the senior leader assigned as my line manager regarding effective leadership, and how I wanted my career to progress.
I was supported throughout my first year as subject leader of Physical Education when completing my Leadership Pathways course, and was delighted when I was approached to broaden my leadership horizons and take on the role of Head of Year 7 and Transition.
During my time as a middle leader, the school’s improvements were very clear to see, none more so than in the improvement of student outcomes, and in June 2011 I was offered a position on the Senior Leadership Team as Director of Intervention.
Joining such a high-performing, like-minded leadership team that put children at the centre of every decision it made was an amazing experience. We were constantly challenged to be better leaders, both in terms of our strategic thinking and day-to-day management by our Headteacher. We regularly received both in-house and well-respected outside training on how to be more reflective and effective leaders. Our hard work, loyalty and commitment paid off as the students’ outcomes went from strength to strength.
As the Academy expanded, so did the opportunities to further my career. In 2014 I was given my first post as Deputy Headteacher at the newly acquired BBG Academy. The school had recently been placed into Special Measures, and the Trust was asked to go in and turn around its fortunes.
Our Executive Headteacher showed great faith in the ability of the newly appointed Head of School, Alex Burnham and myself to transform the Academy to be the school of choice in the area. The support from the Senior Trust team and other senior leaders across the Trust enabled us to drive the Academy forward at a considerable pace. This faith and encouragement was rewarded when the school was visited by OFSTED in early March 2016, seeing the school achieve Good ratings across the board and again in the summer when the Academy achieved the second best Progress 8 score in the Kirklees Authority.
In September 2016, I started my second Deputy Head position within the Trust at John Smeaton Academy, another opportunity to develop my leadership skills at a bigger school with a sixth form and a very different setting to that of BBG.
During this time, all members of the Senior Leadership Team were assigned a Leadership coach who would meet with you every half term to help us reframe our thinking and formulate our future plans. I found this extremely useful and has recently helped me be successful in my application to start my NPQH.
Over the past year I have been fortune enough to be given the opportunity to become Head of School at The Featherstone Academy. The support I have received since taking on the role has been exceptional. As well as regular strategic meetings with the Executive Headteacher I have been assigned a mentor who is an outstanding experienced Head of School within the trust. I have found this regular support invaluable whilst taking my first steps into headship and another example of the top class wrap around support the trust provides is staff in being successful. Meetings with both HR and Finance RMAT teams provide excellent guidance and support as a new head dealing with running a Academy.
I have been blown away with the votes of confidence, advice, support and assistance from other Heads of School within the Trust, and it has made what can be a lonely role, feel like part of a real team.