Dave Burren is Assistant Principal at Hayesbrook School.

Can you explain a bit about your role and what you do day-to-day?

As any Assistant Principal, I have a range of responsibilities, but my main role is to focus on the quality of teaching and learning. This applies to Hayesbrook and now, working alongside the other T&L leads, also across the Trust. At Hayesbrook, this involves coordinating a programme of observations, work scrutiny and CPD provision to ensure all staff are supported with their own development. Working alongside the other T&L coordinators, my aim is to bring together the best practice from across the three Academies to ensure we work together to continue raising the quality of teaching and learning.

Why did you choose a career in education?

I always wanted to do something that would have a positive impact on other people.  Without being too philosophical, I believe a person’s life is defined by the impact they have on others. When I was 16, I worked for the borough council delivering sports clubs during the holidays. I loved the different personalities of the children I worked with and enjoyed the interaction with them. I have always had a passion for sport and it made sense to combine this with working with young people, so I embarked upon my career as a PE teacher.

What attracted you to work with Brook Learning Trust and Hayesbrook School?

I joined The Hayesbrook School as an NQT in 2000. I was most excited by the fact that the school was applying to become a sports college; being a PE teacher, this was a huge attraction. Since then, I have been lucky enough to progress in my career whilst staying at the same school. I have a strong sense of allegiance to the school and have always been proud to represent its principles and values. The same principles and values now steer the Brook Learning Trust and the opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues from High Weald and Ebbsfleet was too good to pass up.

Why are you passionate about supporting children and young people?

It’s very difficult to answer this question without sounding too corny. I think I am passionate about it because I enjoy it. There are moments in teaching when you feel you really do make a difference to a young person; even if it is just for that lesson, or that day; it gives you a great sense of satisfaction. I’m not sure there are too many other jobs that can do that.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing schools today?

Politics – education is too precious to be used as a pawn by politicians. I have been in education just about long enough to see how political priorities stifle any genuine continuity within education. I have recently read ‘Thinking Allowed: on Schooling’ by Mick Waters. In the book, the author talks of a ‘National Council for Schooling’, where education policy should unfold regardless of party politics and in the interests of all pupils.

What do you think is the biggest opportunity for schools today?

Technology – the pace of technological advancements is scary, but I believe there are many opportunities that are yet to be discovered, where technology can really support and enhance learning.

What do you believe the future holds for the Trust and its schools?

The thing I have always liked about working at Hayesbrook is its size. The staff know each other and support each other. As far as ‘Trusts’ go, we are a small one, but I think that is where our strength lies. If we can genuinely work together and support each other, then we will all benefit. To steal the strap line from the ‘no’ campaign in the Scottish referendum, we are ‘better together’. However, I believe that it is really important for each school to keep its own identity, as we are all very unique.