Headteacher Designate Vacancy

Headteacher Designate Vacancy
Salary L11 – L17 (£54,091 – £62,570)
Full-time. Start date 25th April 2022

It is with a sense of huge excitement and great pride, that we introduce the latest member of the JTMAT family of schools.

Several years in the planning, we aim to incorporate many of the features of John Taylor MAT that have become a hallmark of its success: challenging the most able, outstanding quality of teaching, a taught curriculum of ‘gold standard’ content and skills, and an enrichment offer and pastoral system we believe is second to none.

You could be sharing in the excitement of school improvement if you think you’ve got the leadership qualities, vision, and enthusiasm to take us from pre-opening to an ‘outstanding’ provider. You will be encouraged by a strong local governing body and an ambitious, forward thinking MAT Board with a determination for excellence as you develop our proposals into reality.

If you are at the time in your career when you feel ready for such a challenge, we need to hear from you. To download an application pack please visit https://jtmat.co.uk/vacancies/

Completed packs should be returned to – recruitment@fps.jtmat.co.uk

Closing date for applications 9am Friday 15th October 2021
Interviews will be held on Wednesday 20th October 2021

This Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people/
vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment
An enhanced disclosure check will be a requirement of the post.

Further Information

Fradley Park Primary and Nursery School

John Taylor MAT

CEO’s Blog: London Marathon 2021 (Part 1): Better to live with remorse than regret?

Readers of my September blog will recall me advising (or warning!) that there would be an additional, running-themed, blog this month.  This is it.

One of the highlights of summer tends to be that I can get out a little more, especially during school holidays.  However, it has still tended to be essentially leisurely:  the occasional glance at the watch but nothing more, accompanied by an Amazon Music playlist or an Audible audiobook, and the thought of a nice cuppa at the end. 

This changed, out of the blue, about five weeks ago.  A text from a colleague asked whether I wanted to take the place of a charity runner in the London Marathon who had dropped out with injury.  Knowing its place in the calendar to reside in April each year, I became excited at the prospect of six months to get ready to race in the spring of 2022.  It was a jaw-dropping moment when, discussing fundraising with the charity’s CEO, I was advised that the postponed 2021 London Marathon was, in fact, being held on 3rd October.  But, having wanted to run London several years earlier, I recalled the psychobabble of sporting biographies.  Everything from it “being better to live with remorse for what you’ve done than regret for what you haven’t” through “I’ve missed 100% of the shots I never took” to the somewhat masochistic “pain is temporary but victory is permanent” told me to confirm my entry. “Just do it.” And I did.

My six months’ training had turned into six weeks.  Leisurely ambles along my local streets transformed into longer and longer stretches in the early hours of Sunday mornings along canal towpaths and country lanes – with increasing amounts of water, jelly babies and other sustenance crammed into my pockets.  Just me, the herons (towpaths) and the pheasants (lanes). 

Quite different to the course itself:

Fundraising has gone really well, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported the charity I’m running for.  The Rainy Day Trust does some incredible work with tradespeople who have encountered hardship, and for young people who have barriers to their journey into becoming a skilled tradesman or woman.  Running for them is an additional motivation.  My late father spent his working life in the building industry, and so this cause resonates with me.  If you want to know more about The Rainy Day Trust, or show your support, here’s a link:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MikeDonoghue

Now we’re three weeks away.  The train to London is booked, as is the hotel room.  The jelly babies have been purchased.

I’ll be writing a ‘Part 2’ when I’m through the other side.  Better to live with remorse than regret?  I’ll let you know!

Thanks for reading. 

Mike

CEO’s Blog: September 2021: The “thief of joy”?

It was wonderful to see colleagues and children returning to our schools at the start of the month.  I have felt a palpable sense of resolve to meet the challenges of the term ahead, and an excitement at the re-engagement with friends and acquaintances after a summer break which, for many within our school communities, included a significant amount of work as preparation for the onset of the new academic year.

Looking back at my blog for September 2020, I concluded with the following: “But let us all hope for calmer waters and more favourable tides than those we’ve encountered most recently.”  This time last year many of us, or arguably most of us, looked forward to 2020-21 as the time when schools would return to a “new normal” and examinations and tests would determine the final outcomes for the children of Years 6, 11 and 13.  This wasn’t mere wishful thinking, but a reasoned series of assumptions based on the information that was forthcoming at the time. 

Today, we also look forward to “calmer waters and more favourable tides” and with greater confidence than this time last year.  It is our innate optimism as educators that drives us to look at the future positively.  Within John Taylor MAT, our statement of intent is that “we believe in the power of education to improve lives – and the world.” That is an inherently optimistic view of both education and the future, and I continue to subscribe to it unashamedly.

Whilst on a lengthy run a couple of weeks ago (more of running in a supplemental blog in a fortnight’s time!) I was struck by a quotation from American moral and social philosopher Eric Hoffer (pictured below) that featured in the audiobook I was “reading” at the time (by another American social philosopher, Thomas Sowell).  I bookmarked the section, and have found the quotation subsequently and transcribed it here:

“There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day; we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life.”

Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind: And Other Aphorisms [1954]

One doesn’t have to have worked in a school to recognise the above as being a succinct but highly accurate attitude to life that some individuals will exhibit and seek to exploit.  It is in no small part the work of the “rest of us” – young and old – in school and beyond to challenge the alibis and settle for nothing less than achievement.  And having sought achievement, recognise and celebrate it when it is evident – and then insist on greater accomplishment still. 

In our school communities we want everyone to become the best version of themselves they can.  This means comparison between their past self and their present, and the comparison between their present self and their future.  “Comparison is the thief of joy”, as the ancient Sufis claimed.  But in that context the comparison is with others – their wealth, their status, their achievements, and even their happiness.  In our schools, we avoid comparison with others when it comes to an individual and their progress.  To do otherwise, opens the door to the “good alibi” that Hoffer seeks to guard us against.

So, let today be your best day – except for tomorrow, which will be better still!

Thanks for reading. 

Mike