Simon Hey has the best of both worlds at Greenacres Primary School, Shropshire. “I’m actually 40% head and 60% deputy as our school has a job share headship,” he says. “I enjoy the role of headteacher and maintain a teaching role also.”
It’s this split of responsibility that gives Simon two very useful viewpoints within the school. Here, as our Head Teacher Of The Week, he answers our questions…
What do you think makes a good leader?
Someone who leads by example, earns and gives trust and respect, and is constantly looking ahead.
How important is technology in improving learning outcomes?
As part of looking ahead, we need to be sure that we show children and adults that ICT can be successful as a learning tool as it is as a source of entertainment.
What are you tips for preparing for Ofsted?
We all know what will be inspected and so we should have evidence ready to share with the inspectors. The best way to collect evidence is as part of your cycle of internal school monitoring, ensuring evidence is current, clear and useful. An inspection lasts for a very intense short period of time and spending it searching for evidence to back up your judgements might mean you are not able to share more of all the positive work your school is doing.
What tips would you give other senior leaders who aspire to becoming a headteacher?
Although schools are all different in terms of size and catchment areas, the resulting benefit for each individual child should be at the core of every decision and change we make. Remembering that the children are the sole reason for being there helps focus the mind in a world of increasing complexity.
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
The biggest challenge is the same as it has always been, to give each child in our care the best education we can in an atmosphere of increasing expectations. We are working a great deal more with colleagues in schools in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and Herefordshire. Using a combination of formal and informal CPD, sharing ideas and identifying the most successful teaching and learning strategies, we are already seeing the successful impact of this collaboration.
How do you feel education is changing?
When I started teaching I was told by colleagues I thought were ancient (they were in fact the age I am now) that if I stayed in the job I would see it all change over and over again. When has education ever stood still? We are all still searching for the best way of educating our children in an ever changing world.
What gets you out of bed in a morning?
The chance to do things better than yesterday.