Simply the best job in the world

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Headteacher Vic Goddard became a household name when his school was put under the spotlight in the award-winning Channel 4 series Educating Essex. Now, the principal of Passmores Academy in Harlow has written a book about his experience of headship.

Headteacher Vic Goddard became a household name when his school was put under the spotlight in the award-winning Channel 4 series Educating Essex.

Now, the principal of Passmores Academy in Harlow has written a book about his experience of headship. 

Part memoir, part teaching guide, The Best Job in the World looks at everything from the classroom environment to the school improvement model he uses at Passmores.

Former PE and maths teacher Mr Goddard admits that when filming started he didn’t think anyone would watch Educating Essex. “As far as I was concerned, it was just a documentary about a very normal school doing what normal schools do,” he writes.

However the bulk of the book focuses on the day-to-day challenges of running a school and his hope that more teachers will aspire to become heads.

Mr Goddard says that it is “quite alarming” to discover how few teachers want to be school leaders and he believes that they are largely put off by factors like stress, pressure and the fear that they are not “ruthless enough.” 

But as he points out, although “the buck stops with me”, he hasn’t seen a massive increase in pressure as a head. 

This is largely because he has “excellent support networks around me that I didn’t have as a head of department”, such as a PA and a strong leadership team.

Concerned at the frequent changes to the national curriculum, Mr Goddard also proposes that a panel of education and teaching professionals should be established.

He writes: “Placing the strategic direction of education into the hands of a knowledgeable panel that has real decision-making powers would avoid the muddles caused by ministers’ poor understanding of education policy and lack of knowledge about the day-to-day running of schools.”

The Best Job in the World is published by Independent Thinking Press, priced £14.99.

CAPTION: Engaged: Head Vic Goddard, pictured with some of his students from Passmores Academy in Harlow (top), has just published his first book (above).


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