For the majority of my working life, I have been in education. I started my working life in “long term” residential child care at Pittsburgh House, Lightwood. This taught me a considerable amount about the value of developing relationships and working with children. I started at Abbey Hill Special School in 1983. I became deputy head in 1995 and retired early in 2010. I’m proud to say that in my time at the school, I was privileged to work with some wonderful people and be part of a superb team of people who were able to achieve three “outstanding” Ofsted’s. An inspector once told me that “Good special school practice is good practice for everyone”. I believe this to be true.
In my time at Abbey Hill, I was fortunate to work in the Autistic unit, Primary and Secondary departments of the school. It taught me many things, particularly about working with SEN children. I believe that you should teach first with the heart. If you are passionate and enjoy what you do, then the children will also be enthused. You have to show compassion, understanding and empathy. It’s about developing meaningful relationships with the children. Results and progress will follow. Working in an outstanding school also highlighted the importance of having high expectations of teaching and learning, where opportunities are created for every child to maximise their school life.
Since retiring, my wife and I lived in Lincolnshire for three years where I became a governor of a federation of two village schools. I enjoyed the involvement once again and the support you could offer in developing the education of children. We came back to Stoke on Trent two years ago and I have been given this incredible opportunity to once again work with some wonderful people in developing the best possible education for children.
As a governor, I will be able to support the aims and objectives of the school and work cooperatively in its best interests. I hope that the skills and knowledge I have acquired over the years will benefit Eaton Park Academy.
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