Issue 131 - 2024 Summer term
Deputy Headteacher Andy Jordan says ASCL Council is a great way of trying to make education better across the UK. Here, he shares his passion for Council, school leadership, and providing opportunities for all young people.

Promising prospects

Andy Jordan
Deputy Headteacher at Macmillan Academy
Tell us about your role
My name is Andy Jordan and I’m Deputy Headteacher at Macmillan Academy, an 11–18 academy in Middlesbrough. We’re part of the Endeavour Academies Trust and I’m a governor at Archibald Primary School, one of our feeder schools. I’m currently leading on the personal development agenda and attendance. It’s so important to develop wider opportunities for young people, particularly in areas of deprivation, where young people may not get these experiences were it not for schools.

Why did you decide to become an ASCL Council member?
I decided to stand for Council having been a branch secretary (and now local representative) in Middlesbrough for many years. Council is a fabulous opportunity to meet people from across education. We come together and discuss the issues that affect us across all sectors and aim to provide a united front in ASCL’s work with the DfE, as we try to make education better across the UK.
At our last meeting, we met Bridget Phillipson, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, to shape future education policy.
I’m currently on Council’s Ethics, Inclusion and Equalities Committee, which is an amazing group that tries to keep ethical leadership at the forefront of all our work in schools and colleges.

Why did you decide to get into teaching/leadership?
I’ve always wanted to teach since the age of 14, when I met a careers adviser who suggested teaching to me. I love being a school leader and, over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing adults and young people who continue to inspire me now. We only get one life, so it’s important that we grab every opportunity and experience that comes our way and make the most of it. That’s the reason I teach – to change lives.

How do you like to unwind?
I try to keep fit and enjoy running, and I coach a youth football team in Durham. I do park runs on Saturdays and have now done every event in the North East region. Recently, I’ve rediscovered reading thanks to one of my sixth form students who introduced me to the Goodreads app. I also love walking with my family and can’t think of anything better than a cliff top walk along the Northumberland coast or a fell walk in the Lake District to help me unwind.

Tell us an interesting fact about you
I won a beautiful baby contest before turning one! And many years ago, I was Young Cricketer of the Month in The Cricketer magazine, for taking nine wickets for nine runs in a school match … I could have had all ten, but the final chance was dropped in the slips and the batsman was run out instead.

What’s your favourite book and your favourite film of all time and why?
My favourite film is The Shawshank Redemption. I first saw it at the cinema when I was a member of the student film society at the University of Manchester and from the opening scene, I was captivated. If I had to choose a favourite book, it’s probably The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

What advice would you give to someone new to leadership?
Turn up every day and roll your sleeves up. Leadership is hard work, and it can be tough at times. You will make mistakes (we all do); own them and learn from them and do it better next time. Staff and students will respect you more if you admit when you got it wrong. Most importantly, enjoy it – school leadership is the best job in the world. Put a smile on your face – schools should be happy places to work in so do your best to set the example.

ASCL Council
For more details on how you can become a Council member, please email ASCL Director of Policy Julie McCulloch at julie.mcculloch@ascl.org.uk
For further information, see www.ascl.org.uk/council
 

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