Best Practice

First headship: Inclusion, curriculum & staff development

Andrew Deen stepped into his first headship role in June. He spoke to Elliot Pearce about the professional journey he took to get to this point – and maps-out his priorities for delivering school improvement in a challenging context

Having left school with no A levels and a self-proclaimed lack of discipline, Andrew Deen began work on a building site, working his way through the ranks of an electrical engineering company. He was offered the chance to take on a degree in engineering, and quickly discovered a capability for academic work, leading to an about-turn and an English literature Bachelor’s.

“I wrote a letter to Birmingham City University explaining my situation, outlining why I thought I was a good candidate and telling them why I would be successful for them, and they took me on.”

To fund his degree, he worked nights cleaning hotel rooms. But it was during a Master’s in critical theory and cultural studies at the University of Nottingham that Andrew was introduced to the classroom environment, volunteering in challenging schools in the local area.

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