Lauren Hitchen

Deputy Headteacher at Longtown Primary School

Leadership Development Role 

NPQLBC and NPQSL Facilitator

Leadership Journey to Date

I began my teaching career in Liverpool in 2011, teaching in Early Years as well as Year 5. After three years I decided to widen my experience and began my leadership journey working in a large international school in Dubai. I was promoted to Early Years lead, leading a unit with 24 classes, 600 children and over 50 members of staff. As a new school just opening, my leadership was tested, working on the writing of all policies, procurement of resources, hiring of staff, development of assessment tools and systems and public relations for the school. I used my experience as a British trained teacher to develop the standards of teaching and learning. I then moved to Longtown Primary School in April 2017 as an Assistant Headteacher. For the last 16 months I have been Acting Headteacher but will return to my role as Deputy Headteacher in April 2021. Main School responsibilities include: improving the quality of teaching and learning, early years lead, timetabling, curriculum and management of staff. I also currently lead the Early Years Collaborative group across the trust as well as being part of the leading the CET – Leadership Development Team.

Future Career Aspirations

Once my children have grown up I would like one day to be a Headteacher. I would also like to complete OFSTED training in the future – to allow for consultancy work on school improvement.

Leadership courses completed to date and how they have supported your development / career pathway

  • NPQML – Completed in 2016
  • NPQSL – Completed in 2020

Both courses were fantastic experience allowing for a clear insight in to the many roles leadership can cater for. It was also great to speak to other leaders and understand the day to day life of school leaders. Thus given a clear picture into leadership. Running projects allowed me to fully understand the complexity when delivering changes.

Leadership values and vision for Great Leadership

Creating the best possible start for the next generation is the passion that drove me to leadership. Ensuring decisions and changes being implemented are for the right reasons. Leadership is a team effort and it is important to create a clear vision for all stakeholders. Leaders need to be many things – enthusiastic, respectful, driven and approachable.

Nic Tweddle

Director of Learning at Workington Academy

Leadership Development Role 

Leadership Development Operations Manager

Leadership Journey to Date

I began working at Stainburn School as a PE Teacher and undertook additional roles such as School Sports Co-ordinator and Temporary Head of Girls PE.

I became an Academic Progress Manager, supporting the progress of disadvantaged students before being appointed as a Director of Learning when Workington Academy was formed.

As a Director of Learning, my predominant roles have focused around the academic and pastoral care of Year 7 students, as well as leading on Year 6-7 Transition, marketing and feeder primary school liaison.

More recently, I have taken on additional whole school leadership roles as part of the Senior Leadership Team at Workington Academy focusing supporting the progress of Key Stage 3 and Disadvantaged Students, along with whole school rewards.

I am currently also leading on other projects across Cumbria Education Trust including CET Student Events and as Operations Manager, as part of the Leadership Development Team.

Future Career Aspirations

To continue to make a difference to the lives, opportunities and experiences of as many young people as possible, in the role of an Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and as a Headteacher one day.

Leadership courses completed to date and how they have supported your development / career pathway

I completed the NPQSL in 2018 which was a great experience and gave me a fantastic insight into whole school leadership. Exploring educational research, sharing and learning ideas from other like-minded colleagues and conducting a whole school impact project in line with our academy strategic priorities was both a valuable learning and leadership experience. Completing the NPQSL was a great opportunity to gain experience of focusing on leading a larger multi-disciplinary team of people across the academy to achieve success and positive impact on a whole school level.

Leadership values and vision for Great Leadership

I believe that great leadership is centred around great teamwork. When building a team, it is essential to recognise individual strengths and qualities and enable all members, on all levels, to feel valued and to be recognised. I believe that central to this is trust, honesty and integrity and that a great leader should set a clear vision and ethos and create an ambitious culture whilst providing strategic and motivational direction along with appropriate challenge for all team members to follow, strive towards and achieve, cohesively.

Rose O’Hagan

Deputy Headteacher at Workington Academy

Leadership Development Role 

Leadership Development SIT Joint Lead and NPQLTD and NPQLT Lead Facilitator

Leadership Journey to Date

  • Classroom teacher
  • Pastoral Deputy
  • Curriculum Deputy
  • Curriculum Leader
  • Director of English
  • Assistant Headteacher
  • Deputy Headteacher
  • Interim Head of School

Future Career Aspirations

  • To facilitate Leadership Development within CET & beyond
  • To further develop experiences in school improvement, working across primary and secondary schools, within CET & beyond

Leadership courses completed to date and how they have supported your development / career pathway

Opportunities to explore educational research, learn from those in different leadership roles, build a network of colleagues both in school and across schools, peer support and sharing of good practice.

Leadership values and vision for Great Leadership

Great leadership is built on trust, mutual respect and integrity. A great leader sets the culture, values the opinions of others and shares the same strategic direction as the entire team.

Kath Pigdon

Deputy Headteacher at William Howard School

Leadership Development Role 

Leadership Development SIT Joint Lead and NPQLBC and NPQSL Lead Facilitator

Leadership Journey to Date

Started as a PE teacher at St Aidan’s Sports College in Carlisle. Promoted to 2nd in department in my 2nd year of teaching. 2 years later promoted to Director of specialism with whole school responsibility for using PE and sport as a vehicle to raise standards in the classroom focusing on teaching and learning. Moved to William Howard in 2009 as Assistant Headteacher. Promoted to Deputy Headteacher in 2014. Main school responsibilities include teaching, learning and assessment, timetabling, curriculum, middle leader development and behaviour/ character development. Currently lead the positive behaviour group across Cumbria Education Trust. Co- lead leadership development across the Trust and delivered and led the NPQSL in partnership with Ambition in 2018/19. 

Future Career Aspirations

Once my children have grown up I would like one day to be a Headteacher.

Leadership courses completed to date and how they have supported your development / career pathway

NPQH in 2017 was a great experience for me and gave a great insight into the NPQ courses and how to get the best out of them. The placement in another school was testing and a very valuable experience in leadership.

Leadership values and vision for Great Leadership

For me leadership is about creating a team who support and challenge each other but ultimately respect each other. A team needs leaders of varying qualities and strengths but for me they all need humility.

Kimberley Smith

Acting Assistant Headteacher/SENCo at Longtown Primary School

Leadership Development Role 

 NPQLT and NPQLTD Course Facilitator

Leadership Journey to Date

I began my teaching career as a teaching assistant before completing my ITT at the University of Cumbria. I took the leap and completed my NQT in East London, teaching in Year 6. I was appointed SENCO and Behaviour Support Manager in my second year and became part of the Senior Leadership team. The school was four form entry and 90% EAL and PP.

I eventually returned to Cumbria, securing a teaching post at Longtown in 2017.

Over the last 16 months I have been Acting Assistant Headteacher, as well as SENCO, and in 2021 I joined the School Improvement Team as Primary English Lead.

Main School responsibilities include: English curriculum lead; improving the quality of teaching and learning, Year 6 class teacher, leading on Inclusion and learning provision, line managing support staff, supporting students and early career teachers and I am also a staff LAB member.

Future Career Aspirations

I aspire to progress to Deputy Headship and eventually secure a Headship within the next few years – hopefully within CET.

In the long term, I would like to work in Further Education and be part of the ITT scheme.

Leadership courses completed to date and how they have supported your development / career pathway

  • Osiris New to Leadership – Completed in 2016
  • Osiris Leading SEND & Disadvantaged – Competed in 2016
  • NPQML – Completed in 2019
  • NASENCo – Due to complete in 2022

All of the above courses were informative and influenced my practice, overall allowing for a clear insight in to the many responsibilities a leader can have.

It was also great to network and speak to other like-minded professionals and compare similarities and differences as well as realising you are not alone!

Being able to design, lead and implement improvement projects with the support of my leadership team really helped prepare for what a leadership role would entail and how integral a shared ethos is to ensuring improvement initiatives will succeed.

Leadership values and vision for Great Leadership

Collaboration is essential, no one person is great without the support of a really good team.

I am very passionate about my role and firmly believe this is key to driving success, being able to inspire and motivate young people to succeed is the reason I chose this profession. Losing sight of what is important for young people and not keeping them at the heart of every decision is where the success of leadership is likely to have short fall.

Ellen Mothersdale

Assistant Headteacher at William Howard School

Leadership Development Role 

 NPQSL Course Facilitator

Leadership Journey to Date

I started teaching in 1992 in Staffordshire and in my second year in post was given responsibility for KS3 History. Following this I took on whole school lead for careers, then Head of History before moving on to a school in Birmingham as Head of PSHE and Work Based Learning. In 2001 I joined William Howard School as Head of PSHE, Citizenship & Careers then took on Health & Social Care in 2003 and International Links in 2006. Following having my two wonderful sons, in 2009 I added Deputy Safeguarding Lead to my job role. This variety of experience led to a secondment to Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning in 2014, a position which was made permanent in 2016. My role has developed over the 5 years in post including a year working across the Cumbria Education Trust as CET Teaching and Learning Leader for Sub Groups.

Future Career Aspirations

Who knows – I am always up for the next challenge!

  • Leading from the middle 2008
  • NCSL Leadership Pathways 2010
  • NPQSL 2015

All these courses challenged me to think about myself as a leader and how to sustain school improvements.

Leadership values and vision for Great Leadership

My primary school teacher Mr O’Leary who was an amazing teacher, and my first head Darryl Knight who was an inspiration.