Key to success is support

Rick Jackson believes Big Ben's bongs should not be silenced

RICK JACKSON: Our las total eclipse was typically British – cloudy

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Having spent my career in West Sussex, I took up the headship of Warblington School on January 1.

It is a challenging time to be an educational leader.

There is a lot of change that is causing instability within the profession.

There are wave upon wave of initiatives and new announcements regarding pay, conditions, the curriculum, behaviour in schools and the new Ofsted framework.

However, I am sure there is never a perfect time to embark on a new role.

Warblington has enormous potential and I have spent most of my first term working with the senior team, planning the steps needed to ensure the school becomes outstanding.

I have worked extensively with schools in special measures – I will be using the skills I learnt to good effect here.

Many of the current issues are about ever-increasing standards for teachers and the expectations from government of high exam grades despite the prior attainment of students.

To support teachers through this changing world it is necessary to provide high quality professional development. This is an area we are investing in heavily to ensure we come out on top.

I want my staff to feel supported.

All too often the messages from the government and Ofsted are not supportive of the profession and do not allow teachers to feel valued.

Staff here are dedicated and take a lot of time to ensure all students realise their full potential – they work with them as individuals, taking into account a wide range of needs and abilities.

We are now developing a coaching initiative across the school for staff to share expertise, and to encourage professional conversations about learning.

School leaders have to invest in their teachers and support them to ensure that morale as well as standards remain high.

Education is in challenging times but at Warblington I intend to steer a steady course and come out on top in calmer waters.