Leaders like you

Frontline leaders from our community of aspirational and action-orientated educators, sharing their stories of great leadership.

Andy Canadine, Headteacher, Helpringham Primary School, Lincolnshire

“The most important thing I learnt through that entire time in my life was that you can be stronger than you think, without ever realising it.”

Sam Offord, Headteacher, Birchfields Primary School, Manchester

“When I do assembly I often talk about things that I’ve done – holidays I’ve been on, expeditions I’ve done – hopefully so that the children and the staff think ‘oh yes there is a life outside of school”

Paula Ledger, Headteacher, Prendergast School, London

“In education.. people are so busy teaching.. that they don’t sit back enough and reflect on what they could do better, how they can be more strategic, on how workload can be addressed. They’re caught up in the ‘doing’.. and actually I think it’s really important that you carve out that time.”

Matthew Kleiner-Mann, Trust Leader of Ivy Learning Trust

“We don’t ask leaders to lead any area of teaching and learning that they don’t passionately believe in themselves. I think people follow leaders when leaders are genuine and they are leading something they totally believe in.”

Vicky Callaghan, Headteacher, Newland School for Girls

“We have a ‘leadership lockdown recovery plan’ – it’s a reset, a step it up, a fast forward…and that’s our six terms through the next academic year. It will take us time when we come back in term one, but nothing great comes easy.”

Matthew Carpenter

Matthew Carpenter is Principal at Baxter College.

Read his interview here.

"You have to really be strong in yourself, positively affirm your beliefs and values, but also recognise that you won’t be right all the time and that people will understand."

Andrea Keith

Andrea Keith is Headteacher at Cradle Hill Community Primary School.

Read her interview here.

"I will always do what I believe is the best thing for the children, the staff and the school community. If you genuinely believe you are doing the right thing for the pupils, the tough decisions will become easier."

Hatim Kapacee

Hatim Kapacee is Headteacher at Heald Place Primary School, Manchester.

Read his interview here.

"Experience and conviction give me that confidence to keep going, and not being frightened of taking risks. If something goes wrong, I always try to learn from it.."

Jenny Jones

Jenny Jones is Headteacher at Anstey Junior School.

Read her interview here.

"Knowing we will make a difference to the children if we get it right keeps me motivated and seeing the difference we have made to lives along the way really helps."

Tom Hardwick

Tom Hardwick is Deputy headteacher at St Matthew’s High Broome CE Primary School .

Read his interview here.

"I’ve always had to be very strict with myself when it comes to my work-life balance. I was advised early on in my career that I have to set my parameters, otherwise I would struggle."

Fay Hartland

Fay Hartland is Headteacher at Kielder First School.

Read her interview here.

"It is never boring. I love the craziness and the relationships we build with each other, as a staff, with the children and with the parents and carers."

Ben Waldram, Headteacher, Lowdham Primary School, Nottingham

“I don’t take my laptop home – and I think that’s a really really important tip. If you don’t want to work at home, make it hard for yourself.”

Paul Thomas, Headteacher of Parkwood Primary School, London

“Whatever teachers do we need to make sure that that has a direct impact on the children, rather than doing something just because that’s the way it’s always been done”

Katie Moore, Headteacher, Fullbrook School, Surrey

“Being a good leader is simply about doing what you feel is the right thing and having a strong set of values that you can base that on and that you can live everyday.”

Jeannette Mackinney OBE, CEO Hales Valley Multi Academy Trust

“The best piece of advice I heard was ‘practice being brave’. I think what was meant by that is there’s going to be tough things ahead, so don’t run away from them. Just do the tough things –  I try to do the tough things first on my list. Practice being brave.”

Youlande Harrowell, Assistant Headteacher & Director of Sixth Form, The Urswick School

“The last 12 months as a leader, has certainly shown we’ve got alot more bounce-back ability than I think anyone ever thought we did!”

Sally Lanni, Executive Leader, Elston Hall Multi-Academy Trust

“I would say to other school leaders ‘reach for the stars’ – that’s what we did during the pandemic and it paid off because we have come through it!”

As a member of The Key, we want to represent you, champion your work and provide you with a platform for your voice to be heard.

“Leaders like you” puts the experiences of members from our network front and centre, letting you lead the knowledge sharing and showcasing your every day tips and tricks for getting the job done.

Check out our first selection of #LeadersLikeYou stories below and make sure to check back regularly for more stories from the frontline. We'd love to hear from more of our members about what it's like to lead your school, so if you'd like to share your story get in touch!

Want to get in touch?

Send us an email at [email protected]