Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Trust Me, Academies Will Nurture Teacher Talent

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Trust Me, Academies Will Nurture Teacher Talent

Article excerpt

The education of children has always been at the heart of my work and this has never been more true than in my new post as national schools commissioner.

I was attracted to the role by the opportunity to take what I have done in schools and in multi-academy trust (MAT) leadership and translate it to the larger scale of national government: the ultimate school improvement job.

I have been thinking about the challenge of how to keep my focus on the educational experience of children in the classroom while being located in Whitehall. To do this, I go back to my experience as a music teacher in comprehensive schools in the 1980s. I quickly began to see how being an excellent classroom teacher inspired children to want more from their learning and take up extracurricular activities.

My vision is to create a system where talented teachers are nurtured, and where leaders of schools and MATs have clear and varied career paths to develop their staff. I believe strongly in the importance of keeping excellent teachers in our schools and making teaching an even more attractive career.

Like all graduates, teachers will compare themselves to their peers who have chosen other careers and progress on to new, exciting opportunities. The key is having an education system that is able to commit to its employees and provide these opportunities in order to keep the moral spark alive that inspired them to become teachers in the first place.

I believe that a system with all schools working together in trusts can do this. It can create enriched career options in a variety of schools for teachers who want to develop and share their expertise in the classroom to benefit more children. …

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