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The rapid career climber

Olly Carr, assistant headteacher

Olly Carr

Olly graduated from Oxford in 2008 with a 2:1 in philosophy, politics and economics. During his studies, he completed an internship in corporate finance – and it took him less than week to realise that wasn’t the career for him. Wanting to make a difference for other people, he decided to change tack. 

“I applied to take the Bromley Collegiate Physics school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) course straight after finishing my degree in September 2008, and I haven’t looked back since,” says the now assistant headteacher. 

To brush up on a chosen teaching subject that wasn’t part of his degree, Olly enrolled in a physics subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course prior to starting his teacher training. These free refresher courses are available to candidates who would like to teach maths, physics, chemistry, languages or design and technology. 

“I chose physics as I had always loved the subject for its precision and clarity, and I wanted to teach a range of ages, which may not have been possible teaching my degree subjects.”

He was offered a job at one of his SCITT placement schools, and his rapid climb up the career ladder shows how quickly you can progress as a teacher. Here’s a rough lowdown on his ascent from new graduate to assistant head in just six years: 

  • Year 1: induction year as a newly qualified teacher (NQT)
  • Year 2: promoted to assistant head of sixth form
  • Year 3: becomes the achievement coordinator for Year 13; starts teaching economics alongside physics
  • Year 5: becomes head of sixth form on maternity cover
  • Year 6: moves on to a new school as assistant headteacher

“I feel that I have learned a huge amount over the past six years, and have developed as a teacher and leader by working alongside talented, hard-working members of staff,” says Olly. “Every day really is different, and I always leave work challenged and satisfied.”

Watch computing teacher Phillip Hall talking about why he got into teaching, and how you can make a difference teaching the subject. Transcript (PDF, 204KB)

Although investment banking is well paid, the rewards in teaching are far superior.

Fergal Moane, assistant headteacher

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