Hayley is Headteacher at Roots Federation. We asked her about her career so far.
As a headteacher, what are you looking for when recruiting new teachers?
I look for enthusiasm, honesty and energy!
Can you describe your journey into teaching (how did you qualify, what have been the key steps along the way)?
In the last year of my degree I decided I wanted to be a primary school teacher. I converted my Ancient History degree through carrying out a PGCE at the Institute of Education. In this time I did placements in schools in Hackney - they were amazing places and I was delighted with my decision! I then moved to Hertfordshire and in my first Hertfordshire school I went from being employed as maternity cover to a deputy Head in a three form. I then left to join the Early Years team at HfL Education. This was a fantastic experience as I got to travel to hundreds of schools across the county and met some brilliant Headteachers! They inspired me and made me think that this could be a role I am interested in… I took on the Headship of a maintained nursery school and was faced with a restructure and an international pandemic in my first year. What a learning curve! In the last year I have become Headteacher, alongside an amazing Co-Headteacher, of a federation of three maintained nursery schools.
What support do you get as a headteacher in Hertfordshire?
I have received an enormous amount of support since taking on Headship. HfL Education provide a number of services that supported me with developing my understanding of the business side of running a school. Business services guided me every step of the way through the restructure, HR services provided sound advice on many staffing challenges and the HIP programme has been fantastic throughout. Hertfordshire also has a number of incredibly supportive networks and consortia to join. Other Headteachers are amazingly generous with their time and advice and have provided support throughout my time as a Head.
What support is available to staff at your school (from within the school or elsewhere)?
We invest in a comprehensive annual training programme for our federation staff, team and individual coaching opportunities and collaboration with the other schools in the Federation and beyond. Paying into a health service allowing staff to contact a GP service has been invaluable this year.
We are proud to employ a number of female leaders who have struggled to find part time leadership roles elsewhere. We offer a flexible approach to ensure females with amazing skill sets are not discriminated against because of wanting to balance the demands of a young family with remaining in leading roles. As a result we have some fantastic female leaders who all bring so much to the federation!