CEO for the Emmaus Catholic Academy Trust, Diocese of Salford.
In July 2019 I received the prestigious honour of being made a Fellow in the Chartered College of Teaching. The Fellowship comes with a voice in cross-parliamentary debates in education.
Why I chose to study at Leeds Trinity
Having done my GCSE’s and A-levels at St Bede’s Catholic Grammar School in Bradford I began looking at becoming a primary school teacher. I also really wanted to work in Catholic schools as it was all I had known. I chose Leeds Trinity and I loved every minute of my time there.
What makes Leeds Trinity so special
It is the kind of pastoral approach that continues to make Leeds Trinity unique. It helps the university to continue to grow and be successful. LTU is distinct by its Catholic nature and maybe this drives the focus and aim of knowing each individual student, by their name. It is also possibly a fantastic virtue, building positive relationships with each other and with God and certainly an excellent focus and approach for leadership in a Catholic community.
It was this simple ‘approach’ that made my time at Leeds Trinity so memorable.
Learning from the best
The lecturers and staff I had were obviously very experienced, knowledgeable and skilled teachers but also fantastic people and passionate about ensuring children got the best education.
It is this approach to building positive relationships which I have taken into my career, an underlying way of working, it has stuck with me since. Maybe subconsciously. It is always important to build positive relationships with children, parents and staff. To know people as individuals, remember their names and not see them as simply a number.
My career as a Headteacher
When I became a Headteacher I was 29, but by the end of that first week I was 30! I was young, ambitious and driven. My Headship started with a huge challenge, to lead a new team in transforming a school that was categorised in special measures by Ofsted. The school has subsequently been marked consistently Good by Ofsted and Outstanding in the inspection for Faith Schools in the Diocese of Leeds.
As an Executive Head I have lead over 500 children and their families, over 80 staff, two governing bodies and two huge parishes in Bradford. Children speak twenty three different languages at St Cuthbert & the First Martyrs’. But with all this the one thing that makes both school communities successful is the fact that we all know every single child by their name, we treat them all as individuals and the pastoral care is outstanding. The children are not a number… we want the children in our care to thrive not simply survive.
The Emmaus Catholic Academy Trust
From September 2021 I take up the role of CSEL/CEO for the Emmaus Catholic Academy Trust (CAT). Emmaus CAT is one of three Academy Trusts covering the Diocese of Salford. The CAT is steadily growing and will potentially be very large with over 50 primary schools and 10 secondary schools over the next decade. This is an exciting time for the children and young people, staff and communities across Salford, Manchester, Oldham, Tameside, Stockport and Trafford.
As the Emmaus family grows, we will formally collaborate, improving learning and outcomes for children and young people, grow strong in faith, whilst ensuring the school communities make a significant contribution serving their local and parish communities. The future for the Emmaus CAT is very exciting.
Catholic Schools Partnership
I was one of a group of few headteachers who set up the Catholic Schools Partnership (CSPTSA) in 2010/11. I have been the Chair of the Strategic Board for the CSPTSA which involves overseeing the running of the Teaching School Alliance as well as managing fellow Leeds Trinity alumnus and Honorary Fellow, Simon Gallacher (Director of CSPTSA). The CSPTSA is responsible for over 4500 children and hundreds of teaching staff.
Recognition by the Chartered College of Teaching
In July 2019 I received the prestigious honour of being made a Fellow in the Chartered College of Teaching. The Fellowship award recognised my career and leading work in wider school partnerships, such as the CSPTSA. The Fellowship comes with a voice in cross-parliamentary debates in education.
The fellowship signifies a combination of work with a brilliant team in schools and brilliant people I get to work with in wider projects.
Maintaining links with Leeds Trinity
Over the years I have continued to work closely with Leeds Trinity. I have always recruited early in Spring to ensure my schools get the best quality NQT’s. Through the Catholic Schools Partnership a group of 20 schools in Bradford and Keighley we also work with Leeds Trinity on the Schools Direct programme. We have previously opened the doors of St Francis to 30 undergraduates from LTU to help with recruitment and to show them where they could continue their training and induction as a teacher and to inspire them. With the help of Liz McGuire we have facilitated RE and Catholic Life learning walks and collective worship observations to help all student teachers see what Catholic schools and faith communities are about.
A proud graduate
Leeds Trinity has maintained the reputation for excellence in teacher training. It is one of the most respected training providers in the UK, working in close partnership with over 600 schools to offer students a variety of pathways into teaching.
Students benefit from high quality teaching and research–informed practice, delivered by experts that are fully committed to improving the lives of children.