Keith and Gill have worked together as a senior leadership partnership at the Park Community Academy (PCA) in Blackpool for over 10 years. Last year, Gill nominated Keith for the Lifetime Teaching Award. Here they share how they supported each other, what constitutes a good partnership and why you have to take the time to celebrate success.
Recognize and promote talent
Keith: We at PCA want everyone to have the opportunity to grow and be successful so that they feel valued, proud and fulfilled. We reflect this throughout the school and have many “local” employees. Gill is one of them: she joined as a part-time teacher and became the deputy headmistress. We worked together so she could challenge herself to work with different age groups, students with more complex needs and different leadership roles in school.
Take steps in leadership
Gill: Keith was instrumental in my career. He discovered potential in me and looked after, trained and challenged me over the years. It is important to recognize that the change in management level is a journey. With increasing self-confidence, I grew into various roles – from part-time to full-time, team leader and deputy leader before I became deputy headmaster.
Which makes us click
Keith: Together we have mastered all the challenges that the management level has to offer, from academization to doubling admission to school. We play with each other’s strengths and support each other’s weaknesses. The team is only as good as the people around you. Gill and I take the time every day to catch up and reflect on all aspects of our work and the wider team. I firmly believe that informed people are supportive people.
We celebrate big and small successes
Keith: For us, the ability to recognize and celebrate others’ accomplishments, small as they are, is important to create a positive atmosphere. Teachers are great at celebrating our students’ successes and accomplishments – but we don’t always take the time to do this for colleagues. That is why we make sure that all employees are celebrated. personal and family milestones; sporting, theatrical or professional success; and good practice and success in the workplace.
say thank you
Gill: As part of our culture of celebrating success, I wanted to nominate Keith for an award to show how much I and the school value him. Keith has devoted his life to offering children the best with SEND. He is an inspiring leader and we wanted to make sure he knew that. After guiding us through our Outstanding Ofsted, it felt like the right time and in 2019 I nominated Keith for the Teaching Awards Lifetime Achievement Award…. and he won!
“Stunned, Humble, and Proud”
Keith: At work, I make it very clear that “I don’t go to school and expect surprises.” When I was informed that I was a finalist in the Teaching Awards, at the end of my 43-year teaching career, I felt no less stunned, humble, but extremely proud.
When we showed the BBC broadcast of the Teaching Awards, “Britain’s Classroom Heroes,” at school, the kids loved watching themselves, their friends, and their teachers on TV! Everyone in the school community was proud and excited to see their school on the news and on TV. Of course, the Teaching Awards are not just about individuals or groups of teachers. Above all, it is about celebrating and recognizing the achievements of entire school communities.
Our shared success
Keith & Gill: The most important achievement that we are both very proud of is the open atmosphere and the sense of community that has developed in school over many years. Those who visit PCA comment on how happy and kind employees and students are. Modeling the behavior of our employees has played a key role in creating a positive ethos and culture so that everyone is excited and positive. We try our best to bring infectious enthusiasm to our work every day.
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