I have always felt that it is a great privilege, as well as responsibility, to be a school leader. I very much believe that ‘schooling’ is about human flourishing, developing the sense of ‘self’ and the nurturing of character. The role of education is to help students to know themselves and prepare them to thrive and be a responsible contributor in a fast changing and challenging world.
My approach to leadership is grounded in two key beliefs. Firstly, I believe that all children have ability and all can achieve. As a leader my role is to create a climate for success and to make a difference to children by providing all with what he or she needs to succeed. I do not ask ‘how intelligent is this child?’, but rather, in what ways is this child intelligent – for all children are intelligent and they are intelligent in many different ways. Therefore I have high expectations for all students, understanding that each child’s intellectual ability can grow and that anything is possible with hard work and dreams. My role is to excite curiosity, to expect all to achieve and to get everyone to a high floor with no ceiling (‘everyone proficient, many advanced’). My second belief is that expert leaders (to borrow a phrase from John Hattie) and teachers make a difference. Excellence in teaching is the single most powerful influence on achievement. Education has the power to transform lives.
I live in the UK, although I travel widely on IB business (Team Leader & Workshop Leader). I have been a Head of three schools – the first an international school in the Middle East where I introduced the IB Diploma Programme, and the other two national UK schools. I have also worked in the tertiary sector in education research and teacher education. Currently I work at a school system level as Director of Education for a school company that runs 50 schools. I enjoy facilitating IB workshops, especially those that focus on Administrators. I am the author of one of the development courses for the new IB Leadership Pathway.