Broadoak’s new headteacher on her plans to put the school at ‘the heart of the community’

PUBLISHED: 10:01 28 September 2017

Headteacher Kathleen McGillycuddy with students Jack Currell and Sophie-Anne Oliver in Broadoak's library.

Headteacher Kathleen McGillycuddy with students Jack Currell and Sophie-Anne Oliver in Broadoak's library.

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Broadoak’s new headteacher is four weeks into her role and she has ambitions to make it one of the ‘best schools in the region’.

Kathleen McGillycuddy took over as Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College’s headteacher at the start of September and said she has been bowled over by the behaviour and mentality of its students.

Ms McGillycuddy had been working as deputy headteacher at Orchard School in north Bristol for the past six years but said she was inspired to take a step up through her work with WomensEd, a grassroots movement which promotes female leaders in education.

There is a high proportion of women working in education, but many of those working within school leadership teams are male.

Ms McGillycuddy said: “I had been volunteering with WomensEd for a few years and I felt it was time to put my money where my mouth is and take a step up.”

Four weeks in and Ms McGillycuddy is enjoying her new role, she said: “It’s tremendous here, there is a real sense of community between everyone.

“I have been really blown away by the students’ mentality and their respect and how they look.”

Ms McGillycuddy said secondary schools are going through a period of transition at the moment, due to Government-led changes to exams which make it less beneficial for schools to offer a wide curriculum, while more weight is placed on core subjects such as science, maths and English.

But she said she wants to ensure the Weston-super-Mare secondary school does not become ‘an exam factory’ and offers a wide range of subjects and extra-curricular activities to create ‘well-rounded’ students.

She also said she wants to school to integrate more with its community, and added: “My big dream is to be a school that is at the heart of the community. I would really like it if every parent and carer within the community chooses Broadoak as their first school.

“We want to have good relationships with our families – that’s at the heart and soul of what we do. The relationship between a school and its parents is crucial, without that strong relationship, young people are at a disadvantage.

“This is a really good school – but it’s going to get better, this school has got the capability to be one of the best in the region.”

MORE: Broadoak appoints new head girl and head boy.

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