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Case Study - NQT to leader

Understanding, appreciating and believing in your staff encourages retention

Charlotte Decelis joined Woodside Primary Academy in 2009 as a newly qualified teacher (NQT); she is the Year 1 group leader and middle leader (ML).  She explains what it is about the school and its leadership that has inspired her to stay for the past six years, and why she sees herself at Woodside in six years’ time.

“Being a teacher is not an easy job.  It’s incredibly rewarding but certainly not easy, as I’m sure any NQT or even seasoned teacher would tell you.  What’s refreshing is that at Woodside, the entire senior leadership team (SLT) actually understand that too, and support us in whatever we need to make the teaching experience as seamless and easy as possible”, explains Charlotte.

Charlotte Decelis 

Support & progression

In addition to fostering an environment that understands the concerns and challenges of its staff, Woodside also provides encouragement, opportunities and support for all staff members who wish to progress their careers.  Middle Leaders (MLs) have weekly CPD sessions every Friday.  “The continuing professional development (CPD) we now have is unlike anything I’ve experienced before.  Last year, for example, I had the opportunity to go on a course, run by the REAch2 organisation, called ‘Aspiring Leaders’, which taught me so much about leadership and management and how to develop those skills.  In fact, it was so popular that a lot of our MLs have opted to do it this year.  I’ve also had the opportunity to work with our SLT and so I’ve been trained on how to do lesson observations and learning walks; it’s been really helpful learning how to feedback to teachers on their teaching”.

If you want to progress your career then Woodside certainly seems to be the place to do it, with opportunities open to all members of staff.  Charlotte adds, “If NQTs decide to stay with us, they are actively encouraged to progress, if it’s something they want.  If they decide, like I did, that they want to dip their toe into middle leadership, then they are supported in doing so and upskilling is provided.  At Woodside you really can move your career in the direction you want it to go in”.

Six years’ time?

In her short six years at the school Charlotte has certainly come a long way; from NQT and classroom teacher to Year Group Leader and ML, but her story doesn’t end there.  “I never really aspired to be much more than a classroom teacher because that’s what I love doing, and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.  But since our new headteacher Shane has come to the school I really feel like there is someone behind me who has belief and faith in me and that has really built up my personal aspirations”.

When asked where she saw herself in six years’ time, Charlotte replied, “I’d like to be assistant headteacher! With the team at Woodside supporting me, I feel there’s nothing I can’t accomplish”. Watch this space..!