I was offered the job at Kensington Primary School in February 2014.
Between being appointed and taking up post, OFSTED came. The school went from Good to Requires Improvement.
I took up post April 2014. On my 8th day, we had our Section 8 monitoring visit.
At the end of my first term, the Head Teacher left.
Fair to say, it was a baptism of fire.
Paul Harris, who had been supporting the school as a National Leader in Education, took up the post as Acting Head Teacher. He had already successfully turned round Curwen Primary where he had been Head for 10 years.
The story really began from there. It was an incredibly steep learning curve. The school was in the middle of a building project – adding a third floor to the Victorian building so it could expand from two to three-forms of entry. The second floor wasn’t being touched although mould was growing on the walls and it was in desperate need of refurbishment. Morale was low. There was little structure. Very few procedures. Children were lacking in confidence. The budget was in a mess.
Under Paul’s leadership the school went from strength-to-strength. The building project was substantially expanded; leading to the refurbishment of the middle floor as well as the extension. The school went from the bottom 20% in the country to the top 5% for progress at the end of Y6. A lot of work was done.
Just as the sun was setting on the Summer Term in 2016, we had the call. When all was said and done the school had been rated Outstanding.
And so the next stage began to take shape. Paul was in the process of establishing The Tapscott Learning Trust. He stepped back from Kensington and I took on the headship. The rest of this blog will be some of what we’ve done, some of what I’ve learnt, and hopefully some thoughts and ideas that will inspire reflection and debate.