Inspirational Leadership (2019)
Tell us a bit about your role…
I have been the Head of Secondary Teacher Education at Warwick since 2016, working on a range of programmes including PGCE, PGCEi and the Warwick in Schools Programmes. The Secondary PGCE alone recruits 260+ trainees each year covering fourteen and eighteen subjects. Our trainees and staff work with over eighty-five partnership schools across five regions, working towards Qualified Teacher Status, with the vast majority earning 90 M-level credits by the end of the end of course.
Tell us about your award-winning project/work…
I'm committed first and foremost to recruiting, supporting and developing high-quality staff, as I believe they are a department's most treasured resource. The last few years the staffing has really stabilised in Secondary - there are over thirty of us on this one programme alone - building on an Outstanding Ofsted grade in 2016, pursuing excellence in all we do, whilst coping with expanding student numbers. This last year, I took the opportunity to divide the campus provision across two days, focusing on staff well-being and re-prioritising the student experience. This has created a much more successful experience for all concerned, allowing staff to achieve a better work-life balance without compromising the core values and quality of the course.
How does it feel to have won the Inspirational Leadership Award?
I feel honoured and humbled at the same time. I always feel unsure about nominations for individuals, as strong leadership is chiefly about the people they support and develop, but a huge thanks to everyone in CTE for making this such an incredible year for the programme and for the nomination.
Why do you think people should get involved with nominating for the University Awards?
It is really important to recognise people and the work they do. Many of us are happy to go above and beyond what our contract states, but this work can often go unrecognised. These awards are a way of recognising this work and the people driving and maintaining Warwick's deservedly high standards.
What was a personal highlight for you from the Summer Party on 24th June? (Other than winning, of course!)
Sorry, I was in Cornwall and unable to attend. Friends messaged me to say I had won and I celebrated with my partner that evening, some two hundred and twenty miles away! I did though get to travel back to Warwick later in the week and share the occasion with members of CTE, who also won a top group award that evening.
The University Awards are a great way for the University to improve and learn from staff initiatives over the year. If you could change one thing at the University, what would it be?
To remove teaching-only contracts and expect everyone to be research-active, including sessional staff.
What would you like to say to the person – or people – who nominated you?
Thank you to everyone! You've been so incredibly supportive over the years and I could not be the leader I am today without you alongside me and pushing me ever onwards to become even better.
Paul Taylor-McCartney collecting the Inspirational Leadership Award with colleagues at CTE as he was unable to attend the awards ceremony.