Tim Jefferis

Course: MSc in Educational LeadershipTim Jefferis
(Distance Learning)

Year of Graduation: 2008

What does your current career involve?

I am currently in post as the Deputy Head (Academic) at Oswestry School, Shropshire. This post involves oversight of everything relating to the curriculum, teaching and staffing in the school. I am also tasked with championing the uptake of IT within the school by both staff and pupils.

How did you obtain this role?

I started my teaching career at Warwick School, where I taught in the Geography Department for three years. After this I moved to Uppingham School to be Head of Geography and, after four years, I was promoted to the position of Housemaster. I spent five years in post as the Housemaster of West Deyne, one of the boys’ boarding houses in Uppingham before moving into my current role as a Deputy Headteacher.

What were your motivations for enrolling on a course at the University of Leicester?

I wanted to keep myself fresh and to get up-to-date with all the latest developments in education within the academic world. It is possible to drift along as a teacher and become quite detached and out-of-date – I was determined this wasn’t going to happen to me! I also noticed that many of those getting promotions in schools had done further study of some sort and, because I was nurturing an ambition to move on, I thought it would be sensible to follow their lead.

How did your MSc in Educational Leadership aid your personal and professional development?

Doing my MSc at Leicester has helped me engage better with the literature, taken away some of the fear and mystique and made me a more reflective practitioner. One of the most valuable things about doing the course was that it gave me the time (and the excuse) to sit in the library, away from the hurly-burly of school life, to think deeply about some of the key issues facing schools and formulate my own views.

What ambitions do you have for the future in your career?

I would like, eventually, to become a Headteacher, though I am now doing a Doctorate and have acquired an appetite for research so it’s always possible that I might find myself working in a university one day I suppose!

Do you have any advice for anyone reading this who would like to enter a similar work role to you?

Don’t delay! I am glad I got on with my Masters fairly early in my career, though in some ways I wish I’d done it even earlier. Don’t be put off by people who say you won’t have time – you make time. Necessity is the mother of invention. I found myself working in large chunks in the holidays; not the approved way of completing things, I know, but it worked for me.

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