From NQT to vice principal

Jon Jones, Vice Principal

Jon became a newly qualified teacher (NQT) in 2002, and since then has progressed to become vice principal. Recognising early on that teaching was something he was interested in, he quickly made the most of available opportunities to move up the ladder.

“Teaching has always been an interest for me. My first real experience was coaching at my judo club while I was in sixth form. I discovered I enjoyed seeing students I’d coached being successful, and at that point I knew I had to be a teacher.

“I studied a BA Ed in physical education (geography supportive) directly after my A levels. The university route offered qualified teacher status (QTS) and a mix of in-depth study and teaching experience spread across four years.”

Reflecting on his training, Jon says there were plenty of people willing to offer him help along the way. “The support and guidance I received throughout my training really helped prepare me for my NQT year. But now I’m on the other side and spend a lot of time interviewing NQTs and those new to the profession, which is a part of my job that I really enjoy.”

“Following my NQT year, I quickly worked my way up to senior leadership. My career progressed as follows:

  • 2004 – head of year
  • 2009 – head of faculty
  • 2010 – head of post-16
  • 2011 – associate assistant principal
  • 2012 – assistant principal
  • 2013 – vice principal

“With each step, my responsibilities have changed and grown. Day to day, this means less teaching and more strategy,” says Jon. For anyone wanting to emulate his career progression, Jon advises making the most of any new experiences that come along and learning from colleagues. “Seize every opportunity that becomes available. This could be anything from supporting a colleague to chairing a meeting – grab these chances to grow your leadership.

“My final piece of advice would be to watch and learn. I’ve taken most of my advice from watching great leaders at work, seeing how they interact with staff, how they lead briefings and how they manage change, which is really beneficial to my continuing professional development.”

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