Jane Bellamy Head Teacher Personal Statement

Directors Meeting Attendance Document

Pecuniary Interests Document

 

Giles was a Specialist Leader of Education at Sir Robert Geffery’s VA C of E Primary School, Cornwall and is currently working as a consultant and lecturer at the Learning Institute. He is also East Cornwall Hub leader and steering committee member for the Learn, Teach, Lead RE (LTLRE) project. He has collaborated for five years with academics at Exeter University on two projects for ‘RE-flect: A program to foster metacognition in the RE classroom’ (Funder: The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation) at the University of Exeter (www.re-flect.org.uk) and the RE-searchers project (a research-led curriculum development project funded by Culham St. Gabriel’s Trust). As the co-creator of the RE-searchers approach he is interested in promoting critical, dialogic Religious Education which re-conceives pupils and teachers as co-researchers into the nature of religion/s.
Sam grew up in Bristol but studied Law at Plymouth University. After graduation he returned to Bristol and worked as a Marketing Manager for NatWest. He retrained as a teacher in 2000 and trained, and subsequently worked at, Thornbury for 6 years. He then worked as a Business Analyst at the Land Registry for 5 years and is now the Managing Director and owner of a small photography company.
Jane has been a Headteacher since 2000 and is currently in her third Headship. The schools she has led have differed greatly, including leading one from special measures in 2004 to the top 100 value added performing schools in 2006. She has been on the Headteacher executive in Somerset (SAPHTO) and in Plymouth (PAPH) and on the Schools Forum both in Somerset and The East Riding of Yorkshire. In The East Riding she led a project group for NCSL Networked Learning Communities and presented this work at the TDA Manchester conference. She is an accredited School Improvement Partner and has supported a number of schools to make significant improvements.
Wendy has been a Headteacher since 2006 and is currently on her second Headship.  Within her school there is a specialist unit for up to 18 hearing impaired pupils as well as a nursey for children age 3 and 4. She has been actively involved in supporting city wide developments in education. She is a member of Schools Forum. Wendy was Chair of the Plymouth Association of Headteachers (PAPH) when they formed a community interest company in order to provide and safeguard key services. This company now provides; Supply Teachers; Recruitment Advertising; Property Compliance Advise; Finance Support and HR Services to the majority of schools across Plymouth. Wendy also mentors new Headteachers through their first year of Headship.
Claire has been Headteacher of Thornbury Primary School since 2007. She is an LLE for Plymouth Teaching School (PTSA) and Leader of Middle Leader training for the Trust schools. She has been Co-leader of New Headteacher programme for Plymouth. Previously she worked for Sheffield LA with responsibility for: devising and implementing the improving teachers programme, Associate Deputy and Associate Head for Schools Requiring Additional Support (SRAS) carrying out placements in schools for a half term upwards to build improvement from within. She works within Plymouth LA as a Teaching and Learning Consultant, and undertakes school improvement advisory work.
Darren is an experienced leader, coach and facilitator. His specialism is in developing practice, provision and opportunity through reflection on action, enquiry based learning and powerful communities of practice. He has written on a range of leadership issues for journals and national publications and has presented at national and international research conventions. He is an experienced designer of professional development and has a passion for unlocking the potential of others. Darren has made a key contribution to work at regional and national level through the National College, DfE and TDA. His previous experience includes more than 20 years as a teacher, school leader and senior local authority officer. He has worked as a researcher and facilitator for the National College. Together with Ronnie Woods he co-created Enquire in 2006.
Lee has worked in the education finance sector for the last 8 years, having previously worked in other local authority finance teams for 3 years including the Children's social care accountancy team. His specific education knowledge began when he became a Plymouth City Council Schools Finance Officer, supporting Plymouth schools with their finances, a role which he had for 4 years. This role gave him a vast knowledge of education finance and school budgeting and monitoring. He left Plymouth City Council for Plymouth CAST, a multi-academy trust of 35 Catholic schools from Penzance to Bournemouth, where he undertook the role of Finance Manager and was heavily involved in the transfer of 35 schools to academy status - the biggest one-off transfer in the country. In June 2015 he took up the role of Business Manager for Sir John Hunt Community College. He sits on the Senior Leadership team for Sir John Hunt where he oversees most of the non-educational running of the school and ensures the educational needs of pupils and well resourced.
Nigel is a solicitor for Browne Jacobson and specialises in all types of contentious regulatory advocacy. He has a particular emphasis on the agricultural sector, together with expertise in health and safety and environmental cases. Nigel advises in all areas where fatal and non-fatal accidents result in criminal investigations, including farms, factory sites, government and local authority properties, maritime incidents (both on and off shore) and all types of private and commercial premises. Nigel has advised and represented government and public bodies in successfully prosecuting cases in the Magistrates and Crown Courts, working closely with government inspectors and officials in evidence preparation including advising interviews under caution and statement preparation.
Andrew’s background includes a high degree of customer service and support skills gained over years of working in service based industries. Currently he works within the Property and compliance service for PLPCIC. His previous roles have included: the management and interpretation of legal documents (land registration) requiring attention to detail and a high regard for data protection, facilities, Health, Safety, Environmental and Team Management. His skills are backed up by relevant qualifications including NEBOSH General Certificates in Occupational Health & Safety (NGC1, 2 and 3 all with distinction), NEBOSH National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management (FC1 and FC2 with distinction). He currently holds a Technical Membership in the Institute of Safety & Health (Tech IOSH) which will be upgraded to Graduate membership as he works towards a Diploma in Occupational Safety & Health. This in turn will meet the academic requirements of Chartered status (CMIOSH).

Hadleigh Community Primary School headteacher, Neil Jackson, resigns over ‘faceless government’ education rules which leave teachers ‘stressed and exhausted’

PUBLISHED: 14:58 10 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:58 10 February 2015

Matt Hunter

Hadleigh Primary School headteacher, Neil Jackson.

A Suffolk headteacher has attacked “faceless government” education rules which have left him unable to help children learn in his resignation letter.

Neil Jackson, 52, of Hadleigh Community Primary School, has told parents the reasons behind his decision to leave the school in a hard-hitting letter sent to parents. In it he said he could not continue because he was “constantly” finding himself “frustrated by having to tick boxes and jump through hoops” for a “faceless government”.

He said that irrespective of which party is in government, headteachers were being “constrained” to what they “can and can’t do”.

Last year the school was handed a “requires improvement” Ofsted grade. A monitoring inspection, carried out since then, in September, found that some improvements were being made.

Mr Jackson, who has been the headteacher for four years, said in the letter, which was published on the school’s website: “The role of a headteacher in modern Britain is completely different to what it was and I constantly find myself frustrated by having to tick boxes and jump through hoops for a faceless government who do not understand what providing wonderful, creative learning opportunities for children is all about. I therefore feel that I cannot continue in the role of a headteacher,” he said.

“Whilst our Ofsted inspection was not the only reason for my decision, it certainly made me realise that irrespective of which government is in power, schools are solely judged by children’s progress and that headteachers in particular will be constrained with regard to what they can and can’t do.”

Mr Jackson, a former Bucklesham Primary School headteacher, said no definite date had been made for when he would leave but he has requested it is before the end of the academic year. He said he “could not continue” in the role of headteacher but is due to stay in education.

Last night Suffolk headteachers reacted to the news. Geoff Barton, headteacher of King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, said the letter gave a “bleak picture” of leading a school which he said can be a “very lonely” job.

“It fits with the national picture that both at primary and secondaries more headteachers are thinking about stepping down and it can be incredibly difficult to recruit people; in some ways why would you anyone think about joining what is almost like a football manager system,” he said.

“I think it’s a sad indictment of the current picture of school leadership; the current government, when Michael Gove came in, said they would give more power to headteachers but I think evidence shows he has done the opposite.”

He said work was underway to strengthen the support network which is in place through the Suffolk Association of Secondary Headteachers.

No one was available to comment from the Suffolk Primary Headteachers’ Association.

Vicky Neale, headteacher at County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds, said being a headteacher carried a large responsibility. “Teaching and being a headteacher has a heavy workload, it’s also a very important job and it’s right that there is strong accountability.

“I would not say there’s more work now than there was five years ago. Very few of our staff are going, most of the ones who are are over 60 and retiring or going for a promotion.

“Some of that – going through hoops – is a school’s own choice. Staff work hard but I honestly would not say they are stressed and exhausted, there’s a good atmosphere in the morning staff briefing.”

Last year three headteachers left Suffolk primary schools because of “significant challenges” posed by changes to Ofsted inspections.

The leaders of St Gregory’s Primary School and Woodhall Primary in Sudbury, and Pot Kiln Primary in Great Cornard all left.

Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, said: “We wish Mr Jackson the best in his future endeavours. Following his decision to resign, our priority is to work with the school’s governors to ensure that Hadleigh Community Primary School receives the support it needs to find a suitably experienced replacement head teacher in a timely fashion.”

Mr Jackson’s letter:

To all Parents, carers and children at Hadleigh Community Primary School,

I am writing to you today to tell you that after a great deal of soul searching, I have decided to resign from my position as headteacher here at Hadleigh Community Primary School.

It is not a decision I have made lightly; this is a fantastic school, with wonderful, talented children, inspirational staff, supportive parents and proactive, challenging governors.

I would like to take this opportunity to explain to you why I am leaving the school; please do understand that I am not leaving to take up another headship elsewhere, I am leaving headship completely.

The role of a headteacher in modern Britain is completely different to what it was and I constantly find myself frustrated by having to tick boxes and jump through hoops for a faceless government who do not understand what providing wonderful, creative learning opportunities for children is all about. I therefore feel that I cannot continue in the role of a headteacher.

Whilst our Ofsted inspection was not the only reason for my decision, it certainly made me realise that irrespective of which government is in power, schools are solely judged by children’s progress and that headteachers in particular will be constrained with regard to what they can and can’t do.

Hadleigh Community Primary School has many wonderful, talented staff; good, conscientious people who are constantly stressed and exhausted by the huge amount of paperwork which they are required to complete. I consider myself to be a very approachable, honest headteacher and when staff ask me how to achieve a better work/life balance, I can no longer give them an answer.

After much soul-searching, I am going to put my family and myself first. Please do be assured that I will work hard to lead the school as effectively as possible in the coming months, until I leave. I was offered a new job on Wednesday February 4 and telephoned David Smyth (chair of governors) straight away in order to allow governors and senior leaders the time and opportunity to ensure that the children’s education would not be jeopardised in any way at all. However, in light of the change in circumstances, a deputy headteacher was not appointed yesterday.

As I write this letter, I am aware that David Smyth is meeting senior leaders at Suffolk County Council in order to ensure that the school does not suffer in any way at all. Please do be assured that the school governors are incredibly astute and aware of their responsibilities with regard to your children and that they will now work tirelessly to advertise for and appoint my successor. The senior leadership team have already met to draw up an action plan with regard to the future of the school and I would ask you to trust them as they ensure that ‘life at Hadleigh carries on as normal’.

I have enjoyed four years here at this fabulous school and am so proud of everything and everyone connected to it. I appreciate that some of you will be shocked, surprised and disappointed by my letter and I hope that you will discuss my leaving with your super children explaining that they have not done anything to warrant this, but, Mr Jackson has decided that headship is no longer the job for him.

I hope that in the coming weeks and months many of you will take the time to chat to me and please do feel free to discuss the contents of this letter with me. (As I write this letter, I am not exactly sure when I will be leaving as the governors will need to ensure they have a competent, experienced headteacher in place first before they can consider my request to leave before the end of the academic year).

I hope and trust that this letter has begun to explain the reasons why I have decided to leave headship; as mentioned previously, it has not been an easy decision to make and I have made it with a heavy heart and have suffered many, many dark nights.

Thank you all so much for your fantastic support during the last four years and thank you for allowing me, as headteacher to lead a school where we have almost 600 wonderful, fabulous children.

Neil Jackson, Headteacher, Hadleigh Community Primary School

Department for Education statement:

“We want to support the profession to tackle the issue of unnecessary and unproductive workload, which many teachers are concerned about and is stopping them from giving time to what really matters – inspiring young people to achieve their potential.

“That is why we launched the Workload Challenge. We received over 44,000 responses and are now acting on those to ensure teachers are able to carry on with their fantastic work and prepare pupils for life in modern Britain.”

The key pledges resulting from the Workload Challenge are:

Commitments by Ofsted not to change their handbook or framework during the school year, except when absolutely necessary; to keep updating their new myths and facts document stating what inspectors do and do not expect to see; and from 2016 onwards, to look to make the handbook shorter and simpler, so that schools can more easily understand how inspectors will reach their judgements;

Giving schools more notice of significant changes to the curriculum, exams and accountability, and not making changes to qualifications in the academic year or during a course, unless there are urgent reasons for doing so;

Making it easier for teachers to find examples of what works in other schools, and research about the best way to do things like marking, data management and planning by bringing together a central repository of evidence;

Support for headteachers to carry out their demanding jobs by reviewing all leadership training, including reviewing the opportunities available for coaching and mentoring for leaders; and tracking teacher workload over the coming years by carrying out a large scale, robust survey in early Spring 2016, and every two years from then.

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