2020 Spring Term 1

The know zone

  • Early years
    The government's consultation to reform the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has been met with mixed views. Here ASCL Specialist Tiffnie Harris shares her insights. More
  • Safety first
    Leaders must be confident that their school estate is safe and suitable for use. ASCL Specialist Hayley Dunn says you can ensure the safety of your school estate by taking a strategic approach, where appropriate processes and policies are in place and followed. More
  • Time for a change?
    The government's T Level Action Plan allows 16 to 19 year-old students, with a Grade 3 in GCSE English or maths, to take functional skills instead of a GCSE resit. Is this a hint at a future change in policy? ASCL Specialist Kevin Gilmartin shares his insights. More
  • Strengthening inclusivity
    ASCL Specialist Margaret Mulholland shares her thoughts on how leaders can strengthen inclusivity and improve outcomes for pupils with special educational needs. More
  • All inclusive
    Are you doing something innovative at your school or college to help promote equalities, diversity and inclusion among your staff? Perhaps you run a mentoring scheme or provide staff with other opportunities to step up to leadership? Here, ASCL members share their views. More
  • Pragmatic and refreshing
    Deputy Headteacher Gurpall Badesha is a new member of ASCL Council's Teaching and Learning Committee. More
  • Your mission: should you choose to accept it?
    A new generation of school leaders is currently learning about a set of totally unfamiliar roles and responsibilities for which they were largely under-prepared. What strategies can they employ to make life easier? More
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Deputy Headteacher Gurpall Badesha is a new member of ASCL Councilís Teaching and Learning Committee. 

Pragmatic and refreshing

Tell us about your role

I am Deputy Headteacher at Crofton School in Stubbington, Hampshire. Crofton is a co-educational 11Ė16 school. The school is proud of the positive relationships it has forged with the local community. The recent Arts Festival organised by the Crofton Partnership was a great success and an example of the commitment of the local community to the school. Each year the school runs a charities week that raises money for a range of student-endorsed causes, including most recently Canine Partners and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). We believe in ensuring our students have a wide educational experience, and extra-curricular activities are an important part of school life.

Why did you decide to become an ASCL Council member?

I decided to become an ASCL Council member having been impressed by the way ASCL explores issues faced by leaders and proposes pragmatic solutions. The quality of professional development and support are exemplary. I am a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee and at my first Council meeting we discussed the issues regarding The Forgotten Third (see www.ascl.org.uk/ForgottenThird) and proposed an alternative qualification. I found the chance to debate such a crucial issue at Council refreshing and an opportunity to really make a difference to studentsí futures.

Why did you decide to get into teaching/leadership?

I have always loved reading. As a child I used to read to an imaginary audience, and it was from that point that I knew I wanted to share my knowledge with others. I am pleased to say I still get a thrill when students are enthused by their learning. Teaching is truly a privilege; it enables us to shape and aid othersí lives and support them on the next step of their journey. While I have never had a plan for my career development, when opportunities arise, I always embrace them. My motivation for leadership is to make a positive difference and navigate through the many challenges and changes schools face each day.

How do you like to unwind?

In my spare time I love travelling, including going to the theatre and visiting amazing buildings around the world. Recently, I travelled to the Taj Mahal and the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. Spiritual, awe-inspiring and sensational are a few words to describe them. But, most of all, I love spending time with my husband and two amazing children. They make me laugh, keep me busy and get to boss me around. I love cooking with my daughter who has introduced me to the pleasures of baking.

Whatís your favourite book and your favourite film of all time?

I like reading autobiographies as I find it fascinating how people have overcome adversities in life and not used them as an excuse. Maya Angelouís I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings inspires me to keep on fighting for our rights and never let anyone put you down. My two favourite films are Itís a Wonderful Life and Mississippi Burning. Although very different in style, they both depict the fight against corruption and standing up for the less fortunate. Something I feel as a society we should all be focusing on, building bridges and making the world an amazing place for the next generation.

What advice would you give to someone new to leadership?

My advice to a new leader would be to keep things in perspective, focus on being strategic and do not let the day-to-day pressures consume you. Make sure staff are fully engaged with your strategic approach by always ensuring they understand why you are doing things. One of my best inspirational quotes is by the great Maya Angelou when she said, ďI am not competing with anyone else other than myself. I want to be excellent at whatever I do.Ē

ASCL Council

For more details on how you can become a Council member, please email ASCL Director of Policy Julie McCulloch at Julie. mcculloch@ascl.org.uk

We are particularly keen to encourage people from currently under-represented groups including women and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, to put themselves forward.