Testimonials

We love supporting our staff in their own professional development, and are very proud of their achievements and career journeys. But don’t trust our word for it, read on how BPET has supported staff in their journey to headship.

Gemma Donnelly – Headteacher at Braywick Court School from 2014 – 2022

Q: When did you start teaching and how long have you been teaching for?
A: I did a 4 year teaching degree and had my own class when I was 22, so I have been teaching for around 20 years.

Q: What attracted you to a leadership position and how long have you held that for?
A: My first leadership position was 7 years after I started teaching. Since then, I have been SENDCO, Assistant head, Deputy head and was Headteacher of Braywick Court School for 8 years. I am now moving on to my second headship, unfortunately outside of the BPET trust.

Q: What is your experience at BPET and the CPD you have received?
A: This has been a key part to my development and success as a leader. BPET funded my National Professional Qualification in Headship and have always encouraged me to undertake further training and development opportunities.
I had a fantastic mentor and lots of support from the BPET central team, who are always on the end of the phone when needed. I have also been given lots of opportunities to develop my skills through supporting others across the trust and locally and learnt a lot through the process.

Q: What opportunities were you offered which supported you on this journey?
A: Working within, and therefore across, all BPET schools has enabled me to take up lots of different opportunities. I have mentored other Headteachers, been involved in other schools’ Ofsted inspections, run networks across the Trust and delivered training to others.
Being involved in Learning Reviews is also fantastic CPD and some of the best career development for me and my leadership team.

 

Paul Needham – Deputy Headteacher at Rutherford House School, 2019 – 2022

Q: When did you start teaching and how long have you been teaching for?
A: My mum was a teacher and so I was adamant that I wouldn’t follow her into the profession! However, two years after completing my undergraduate degree in English and Philosophy, I went on to study for a PGCE. I have been in teaching for 9 years since then.

Q: What attracted you to a leadership position and how long have you held that for?
A: I loved being in the classroom, though quickly realised that I had a passion for supporting and developing other teachers. In moving into a leadership position, I was also able to play a part in influencing the learning taking place across multiple classrooms. Building relations with parents has been something that I have enjoyed since I started working in schools, and as a leader, I have the chance to work alongside parents to realise their ambitions for their children. My first leadership position was as a Head of Pre-Prep at an Independent School, I then took on the position of SENCo at the same school, before successfully being appointed as Deputy Headteacher at Rutherford House in 2019. I am now moving on to a first headship position.

Q: What is your experience at BPET and the CPD you have received?
A: I have loved working at BPET for the past 3 years and feel I have learned a lot during this time, particularly as 18 months of this was affected by the pandemic. I have had the opportunity to work alongside two fantastic Deputy Headteachers and a now, BPET Executive Headteacher. Every day I learn something new from them and their approach to education. I have benefited from working closely with BPET’s Director of Education, CEO and a range of BPET consultants. Each has taught me important lessons about leadership and I am looking forward to putting their wisdom to good use when I lead a school in September.

Q: What opportunities were you offered which supported you on this journey?
A: The CPD offer with BPET has been thorough and broad. I have joined learning reviews alongside experienced Heads, mentored and coached staff, completed an NPQH and Masters in Education, collaborated on projects with BPET schools, led the performance management cycle for phase and subject leaders, been asked to lead training across the Trust and facilitate NPQ courses across the country, and benefited from targeted DHT network meetings. These have been led by educationists with extraordinary career stories, who have been able to share real examples from school situations and their leadership takeaways. It has always been my impression that within BPET the offer and opportunity are there to challenge oneself professionally.

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