Deputy CEO – Primary
Gillian didn’t follow the “standard” teaching route. In fact she forged a career in nursing before even thinking about teaching, however when her children were all ready for full time school, Gillian decided to return to education herself. In fact she started back at college on the same day her youngest child started school, gaining A levels in science before moving on to further studies.
Whilst previously working in PR within the commercial industry, Gillian forged partnerships with educationalists and this sparked her interest in teaching. After completing her degree in environmental sciences, Gillian successfully gained a BAQTS (Hons).
After qualifying, Gillian’s first teaching job was with the Local Authority. Due to her experienced outlook and ability to engage with learners and colleagues, Gillian was quickly promoted and within four years she was appointed as a Deputy Headteacher. Soon after Gillian was supporting multiple schools, engaging with leaders to improve their schools. It quickly became apparent that Gillian would thrive within leadership and, after just 6 years in teaching, had secured her first Headship.
It wasn’t long before the Local Authority approached Gillian to oversee see two further schools whilst maintaining her own and she thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of this work. Gillian decided to make the move to join what was SPTA whilst headteacher at Simpsons Lane Primary School which was swiftly academised as a converter academy.
Being one of the first Executive Principals within SPTA with two other Executive Leaders, the team oversaw 10 schools between them. Within 3 years the Trust had engaged with a new CEO who’s vision and strategic direction aligned very much with Gillian’s own. Bringing a wealth of knowledge in leadership structures, the new CEO developed Gillian’s ability to form appropriate leadership structures within primary academies meaning that primary leaders could benefit from clear career pathways. Gillian is now Deputy CEO, responsible for 32 primary academies across the Yorkshire and Humber region.
Gillian said when days are difficult, you can pine for the time when you worked in a single school and only had those children to worry about. However, most of the time, you can see that as your role gets bigger, you see that the positive impact you can have working alongside great leaders and reaching more and more children is what keeps you motivated.
Outside of work, Gillian enjoys spending quality time with her family and is very happy to be ‘on call’ for grandparent duties! She loves to spend time in Northumberland; mainly for the open spaces and the break away from the norm – she says ‘it does your soul good!’
Gillian loves working for Delta. She says she is fortunate and privileged to work with a fabulous team of professionals and feels there’s a real sense of working together to change lives. She has seen first-hand the impact the team has had on future generations.