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The Warriner School

Flexible and Family-Friendly Career Progression

Mrs Gayle Burch, Assistant Headteacher

I joined The Warriner in 2001 as a Head of Department. Still fairly new to teaching, with just two years’ experience, I was immediately invested in to support both my classroom practice and leadership skills, and the department was able to achieve sustained success.

Following maternity leave in 2004 the school facilitated my leadership role continuing on both a job-share and part-time basis until such a time as I was able to return to the position full time.

I was granted a ‘sabbatical’ year from subject leadership in 2012 in order to re-evaluate my career plan and contribute to the whole-school teaching and learning agenda without compromising my responsibilities to my family. This ignited a new passion for leading whole-school change and provided me with clear direction as well as priorities for my subject area.  

In 2014 the school created two temporary, developmental ‘Associate Assistant Headteacher’ posts to enable existing middle leaders to gain valuable experience of senior leadership. I was successful in my application and immediately felt at home and with a renewed sense of purpose. After 18 months I was thrilled to be appointed as a permanent Assistant Headteacher.  When I look back at my career trajectory I feel so fortunate to have received the support and flexibility to enable me to flourish professionally whilst raising a family. Leadership is almost entirely about people and relationships; part of our school’s success is the ethos of support and nurture that extends not just to our students but to all members of our learning community.