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Corby Business Academy’s newly appointed Associate Principal, Janina Taylor, is looking forward to her new role and brings a wealth of experience from leadership positions in her previous schools, both of which evolved through challenge.

Ms Taylor is determined to champion high aspirations for students and staff, and to develop students’ self-belief, encouraging them to attain at a higher level. A key focus in the first year will be on achievement, behaviour and attendance and she will be a regular visitor to classrooms so she can build positive relationships with staff and students.

It is Ms Taylor’s first headship and she knew instinctively that Corby Business Academy was the right place for her: ‘I was struck by the atmosphere. After reading the Ofsted report and seeing where the areas of development were, it seemed like a natural fit. I am skilled at pulling staff together and sharing a common vision. That is what the Academy needs.’

She joined the teaching profession in 1999, qualifying as an English specialist and had rapid promotion to Head of Department and Assistant Principal. Her first school was a nationally challenged one where she had responsibility for teaching and learning, CPD and performance management. She was instrumental in steering the school through massive change when it became a sponsored academy:

‘I always wanted to go and work in difficult schools, it was a passion of mine. Having impact on students at all levels and seeing their aspirations is what drives me. The amount of experience I got from my first school is immeasurable in terms of leadership and managing change.’

After gaining her National Professional Qualification for Headship in 2010, Ms Taylor joined a school in Luton as deputy head in 2013. It operated a ‘school in school’ model, where four deputies were each responsible for a quarter of the student body, including assessment, attainment, behaviour, welfare and pastoral issues: ‘That was great preparation for this role. As well as whole school responsibility my remit was to give in-class coaching, and paired teaching with colleagues. It also had vertical tutoring and a house system, so there was a lot of interaction across the year groups.’

Ms Taylor is looking forward to being part of the Trust family of schools, interacting with other Principals and sharing ideas and resources as part of a larger framework. She has already implemented strategies at Corby Business Academy, including publishing a weekly staff bulletin, is currently reviewing the behaviour processes and is setting up an awards scheme to recognise achievement, behaviour and attendance. Other key areas include raising aspiration and encouraging Sixth Formers with Oxbridge applications, integrating Sixth Formers with younger year groups and building more extra-curricular provision.

She said: ‘In a leadership position it is all about knowing how to motivate and lead staff. You can’t go running at 100mph on your own. It is so important to have a sense of team within the whole school community. It is about having conversations with staff and students and making them feel that they are involved in the decision-making process. I have to put systems in place to support student outcomes as well as staff and their work-life balance.

‘I am thorough, organised and have an eye for detail. I build solid relationships quickly and don’t expect anyone to do anything that I wouldn’t be willing to do myself. My best feature is my enthusiasm and I am looking forward to working with students and staff to lead Corby Business Academy on the next phase in its development.’