Head of Staff Professional Development
“To see our staff have their hard work rewarded and recognised and know that in a small way we have contributed not only to their time at the school but to their longer careers in the future is great motivation.”
What does your job involve
My job involves the management and co-ordination of training that members of staff receive to help them acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding to carry out their jobs to an excellent standard and therefore provide the children with an excellent quality of life.
I manage a team of staff that are dedicated to the design, delivery and administration of a wide variety of training courses including those that are run internally and taught by our own employees, short courses that are delivered by visiting professionals and longer externally accredited vocational qualifications.
Talk us through a typical day
The day usually starts with a brief meeting with the rest of the Leadership Team to catch up and share any important information. I am then based largely at St Michael’s where I work closely with the rest of the training team.
Day to day jobs include keeping up to date with changes in regulations that influence the content of our training courses; working with Learners to help them to achieve their qualifications, delivering training courses such as induction, autism and PROACT-SCIPr-UK®; ensuring compliance with our accrediting body for the Vocational Qualifications Centre regarding our policies, procedures and practice; supporting individual members of staff with developing their competence through 1:1 training, supporting the implementation of PROACT-SCIPr-UK® and PLLUSS training across the school, helping to develop the skills of other trainers and lots more.
The most challenging part of your job
There are many challenges, but it’s never boring! Sometimes it can be difficult to support staff to undertake the training that is required by our regulatory bodies. This can happen for many reasons and it can be a challenge getting all of our staff to attend the training they need efficiently and in the time scales required.
It can be frustrating when regulations change all the time, just as we get used to one set of rules in our sector, it can suddenly change, such as the Children’s Workforce Diploma changing to a new qualification next year – just as we get used to one qualification structure and have everything in place, it’s all change again! It’s a trade-off – it’s an exciting time to be involved in the children’s sector as it’s swiftly evolving and staff working with children are recognised as needing to be highly skilled by the government. This is the correct drive in my opinion, the challenge is how we and inspecting bodies such as Ofsted recognise “skilled”.
Sometimes my job can be very “admin based”. I never considered myself having an “office job” as I come from a practical, hands on background. I find that at these times my energy is renewed by delivering training and this is where my passion is.
The bit of your job you love the most
I enjoy training and love watching staff develop their skills and confidence. I have a great opportunity to observe new members of staff develop over weeks, months and years at the school which is hugely rewarding, especially when they influence the lives of so many children and other staff too.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is when a learner undertaking a vocational qualification completes their course and receives their certificate, particularly when they may have come into a care job because they didn’t see themselves as “academic” or weren’t confident at school.
To see our staff’s hard work rewarded and recognised and know that in a small way we have contribute not only to their time at the school but to their longer careers in the future is great motivation.
What would you say to somebody thinking about working at Loddon
I would say it’s a job that offers an amazing perspective on life. It can be really hard work and is a job for the hard working. It’s also a job where you make a difference to the children on a daily basis and directly affect their quality of life.