I became Principal of Bowling Park Primary School, Bradford in September 2008. Bowling Park Primary is a large 3 form entry primary school based on two sites which both serve pupils from Nursery to Year 6. The two schools were merged, re-organised and expanded to a 3-form entry school in September 2008. This was due to one of the sites being in Special Measures for nearly 6 years. At the same time, the other site was at risk of being put into measures as its attendance was dire (87%). Children and staff did not buy into the school’s vision and did not believe they could be successful. Since being merged, school was graded as ‘Good’ by Ofsted in February 2013. Most recently, school had a very successful Section 8 Ofsted inspection in March 2017. The inspection judged all aspects of school to be ‘Good’. As part of leadership succession planning to maintain the school’s special culture and ethos, I now work part time at Bowling Park School, and have become the Director of Improving Impact Ltd. If you would like to read more about the impact that myself and my leadership team have had at Bowling Park Primary, please click here Impact.
Prior to my arrival in Bradford, I was employed at Excellence in Cities Manchester (2005—2008). I devised and lead ‘Higher Futures 4 U’, a programme for raising aspirations (including pathways to University and employment sectors), in areas of high deprivation.
I was employed by Manchester LEA (2004—2005) as a Teaching and Learning Framework Advisor and had the pleasure or working alongside Mick Waters. Previous to this I worked at Medlock Primary School (1992—2003), a multicultural primary school in inner city Manchester which was in the top 1% of deprivation in the country. I started working there as a young probationary teacher in 1992 and was quickly promoted to Key Stage 1 Lead, then Deputy Head Teacher and after 8 years I became Head teacher.
My collaborative work and partnerships include being Chair of BD5 Local Achievement Partnership (2012—2017) and providing commissioned leadership support for Princeville Primary School (2015—2016). I have also mentored a number of newly appointed headteachers.
I recently become a member of an Interim Executive Board for a school judged as ‘inadequate’. My other governance experiences include being a Parent Governor at Ilkley Grammar School (2014—Present), a Community Governor at Bradford Academy (2010—2016) and a Community Governor at St Peters’ C of E Primary School, Rochdale (2006—2011).
I have been fortunate to have had many varied continuing professional development opportunities that have developed my leadership, including some significant mentors. However, my work with Dr Paul Simmons, Independent Coaching, has been hugely significant as I believe we all have great potential. Sometimes we need someone to listen carefully to our issues to help us gain momentum and move our organisations forward as a team so we can really make an impact.