From my own personal experiences, I know the importance of inclusion in education and the vital role women can play as advocates for other women and girls.

I struggled a lot with reading at school, I was often singled out for extra support away from other children which only made the situation harder for me. It was thanks to my mum’s determination to help me, by introducing me to a phonics scheme at home which at the time was not practised in school, that I was able to find a learning method which suited me. I will always remember the joy I felt when I learned to read!

My interest in Early Years comes from wanting to support children at this foundation stage of their education. At Gusford, we are passionate about girls and boys having the same experience of all the learning opportunities available and we guide all the children to take part in activities such as outdoor play.

Representing diversity is really important to us and, as the school’s Science Lead, I ensure that we focus on topics such as Women in Science. We also celebrate our Gusford Heroes, people who have achieved great success through adversity and we learn about many diverse women as part of this.

I have worked at 新澳门六合高手论坛 Learning Trust schools across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire for 10 years and I have been privileged throughout my career to be mentored by some amazing women who have helped and inspired me along my journey. Heather Madsen, Executive Headteacher at Red Oak Primary School and one of ALT’s Academy Improvement Leads, has been an incredible influence for me as a leader, a teacher and also as a working mother. Bryony Surtees, another Headteacher in the Trust, has also been an important role model to me. 

I think women can often feel less confident than their male peers when it comes to advancing their careers and going for leadership roles, so to have the encouragement to “go for it” from women like Heather and Bryony is so important.

The Trust has also introduced a new approach to appraisals and staff development which has already increased the opportunities open to staff and I have seen our TAs and support staff, who are predominantly women, really empowered by this.

Alongside my career, I have two young children of my own, so I have experienced the challenges of balancing motherhood with work. This has made me keen to support and encourage other women who are at the start of their careers in education and may face similar challenges. It really helps that there is such a supportive ethos here at Gusford. Our Headteacher, Stephen Tapley’s, is a real champion of girls and women. We have the International Women’s Day flag flying outside our school this week which is great for all our girls and female staff to see!

My advice to girls at school, and women embarking on their careers, is to take every opportunity which comes your way and believe in yourself… you can achieve even more than you think is possible!