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Ruth's career progression with the Brooke Weston Trust

Corby Business Academy’s Vice Principal Ruth Hurcombe said that her experience at three Brooke Weston Trust schools has equipped her for the next stage in her career.

She initially worked at Brooke Weston Academy as an English NQT before moving to a large multi academy trust in London. A relocation to BWT has meant she has worked at both Thomas Clarkson Academy and, most recently, at Corby Business Academy as Vice Principal.

Her role has grown massively and the range of settings and training she has taken part in means she is now moving to a newly formed MAT as Director of Performance and Standards. She will be sorry to leave Brooke Weston Trust, but says that the development she received here has equipped her for the next career step:

‘The Brooke Weston Trust has given me the opportunity to be involved in things like the English network preparing for the introduction of the new GCSE across Trust schools, organising cluster training days and working with Beanfield Primary School as Vice Chair of Governors. I also didn’t know anything about Unit provision before I came to CBA so that has been really interesting, as well as learning about outstanding features, such as the library.

‘One of the biggest advantages has been the collaboration I have had with other schools to develop strategy, training and specific topic areas, including liaising with the Trust Directors of Subject. I am also lucky enough to be on the board for the new Academy Leadership programme which will offer really effective training and support along with secondment opportunities to BWT staff. I really encourage people to enrol as it is interesting to look beyond your own school; seeing the bigger picture can give you a sense of proportion’.

Ruth, who has been Vice Principal at Corby Business Academy for the past four years, says: ‘There have been lot of changes, including  in teaching and learning and differentiation. It is about improving students’ expectations and outcomes. We now have students coming in at weekends to revise and staff going above and beyond to push themselves further. There has been a lot of developments around raising standards and expectations.’

She has valued the professional training and support she has received: ‘The most effective thing has been working on the NAHT Aspire Teaching and Learning programme as I found it really useful to work with other Vice Principals and visit other schools. The biggest advantage of working at the Brooke Weston Trust has definitely been working with the people here. It has been great to reconnect with people that I knew as an NQT, but also to have the support of my Principal and senior leaders in the Trust who are there to offer advice and encouragement, particularly if you are facing tough issues.

‘Teaching is still the best job that you can possibly do. It is challenging, but if you do come into the profession and work in a MAT you have got the opportunity to not necessarily stick to a traditional career path or one narrow area. It has been a big advantage to see different ways I could work and aim towards a job that didn’t even exist when I started teaching. Brooke Weston Trust is a brilliant organisation to work for.  Ultimately every school is very different in but we work together to help each other. The students are also brilliant with lots of personality, so I have really enjoyed returning to Corby and being part of the Trust family again.’