I was born and raised in the beautiful Vale of Belvoir in Leicestershire, and love the fact that I still live and work in the surrounding area. I have been involved in education for twenty-five years as an Advanced-Skilled-Teacher, Headteacher, and adviser in Lincolnshire and Leicestershire schools.
As a Headteacher, I was passionate about creating the right school ethos, based upon the vision that was set by the children themselves. With support from dedicated and committed staff, the children redefined their school experience based upon their values of what learning should be about and what they wanted as preparation for their next steps after leaving our school. It then became the responsibility of the senior leadership team and school governors to cement this vision into clear and succinct strategic documents, which would allow the teachers to get on with their day job and commit to providing the best experience of primary school that we could.
I left headship in 2014 to be a stay-at-home mummy when my youngest child was born. During those four years, I undertook a Masters Degree in Applied Child Psychology at Nottingham Trent University. This allowed me to draw together my experience as a Headteacher with my absolute belief that primary schools can use pedagogical approaches and a broad curriculum that will develop children as resilient, motivated and successful learners. Through teaching approaches that encourage shared, learning-focused dialogue where children’s voice is respected and acted upon, children can leave our settings with the life-skills and coping-strategies that will help to protect them from mental health issues in the future.
As part of the Masters qualification, my research explored the impact of a clear and positive school ethos upon psychological resilience in primary aged children and in June 2018 my company, From Context to Cognition, was born. I now support Headteachers and governing boards with projects that embed shared values and vision into their school ethos.
My work involves strengthening the work of governing boards, and development activity with Headteachers to write, monitor and evaluate school development plans. My commitment to robust and rigorous research into ethos focused leadership has also been reignited. Working with The Institute of Education in Nottingham I am continuing to explore the relationship between effective school leadership and school ethos in primary school settings with the development of resilience in children and young people.
As well as my independent work in schools, I am also a trainer for the Governor Development Service in Leicestershire Education Authority and I am qualified to carry out External Reviews of Governance. I am Chair of Governors at the school which both of my children attend, and I represent maintained school governors on the Leicestershire Schools Forum. I love my work and the journey that my career has taken, but most of all I love the fact that I have balanced being a mummy with continuing to learn, gain accredited qualifications and support others to provide the best education for our children.
BA (Hons) Psychology, MSc Applied Child Psychology, Advanced-Skilled- Teacher status, National Professional Qualification Headship.