I am sad to be leaving my current school.
It has been a significant part of my life. Five and half years to be exact. I have spent so much time at work and when I am not there I am often thinking about it. Like now it is 9pm on a Tuesday night and I am writing about it.
There will be hugs. There will be tears. Most of all there will be cherished memories.
I look around the school and it makes me proud to see the projects that I have been involved in. The wind turbine that I got planning permission for which now powers the outdoor classroom. The small avenue of trees that I helped plant. The new play park that I helped to fund by getting a Big Lottery Grant. The paint on the walls that I was part of choosing. The brilliant staff that I was part of appointing who are delivering great lessons.
I will always be grateful for the opportunities and experiences it has provided me with. I hope that I am leaving the school having made a difference.
I am leaving with no regrets. Losing three colleagues along my journey have been poignant reminders of the fragility of life and the need to embrace opportunities.
It would have been very easy and comfortable to have stayed put, having been promoted to Assistant Headteacher…
Going back a year I was interviewed by NASBM for a Case Study on how I had used the School Business Management Professional Standards. That interview ended with me saying that my aspiration was to be a Finance Director. I would never have thought that a year later I would be taking on that exact role. Perhaps having this in my mind has subconsciously steered me in that direction.
A friend who is retiring this year from her post of Deputy Head, told me that one of her managers once told her that you should move jobs every five years. This rule didn’t work for her, she has worked in education in the same area for most of her working life and that has provided her with a amazing career. Her work has been fundamental in giving children a better life and she is very well respected by everyone who knows her.
The choice to work in the same area for my whole career wouldn’t be fulfilling for me. I love meeting new people. I love new experiences and exploring. I love learning and progressing.
What has also changed for me in the last year is having new people in my professional and personal life.
I have met and collaborated with some amazing school business professionals.
I met Lindsey an aspiring SBM who has become a good friend. She supports and encourages me, but also challenges me when I need it!
I appointed a new administrator who I have worked closely with to improve HR and administration.
I have pushed myself professionally and said yes to new opportunities. Leading a workshop at the ASCL Business Leaders Conference is a big highlight from the last year. As was being awarded a NASBM Fellowship.
It has been a good year for which I am grateful. The highs and the lows.
The closure of the last year is going to take my career journey in a new direction. Just before May half term I was successful in being offered the position of Finance Director at a newly formed multi academy trust.
I am looking forward to the future and to the new opportunities and experiences ahead, a new tale is beginning and who knows how it will end. Time will tell the story. Just because my path is different does not mean that I am lost. Do not let others define you. Do not let others dilute you.
We all have choices. We can all make a change at any time.
“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat or a ladder” Rumi
In memory of Toni Andrews, Debbie Smith and Ann Grant. Gone but not forgotten.