2024 Spring Term

The know zone

  • The leading characters
    Assistant Headteacher Rich Atterton shines a spotlight on ASCL's remarkable 150-year history and says the story of the association is really the story of you, its members. More
  • Preserve and protect
    William Richardson explains how lockdown created a golden opportunity to recover, catalogue and permanently preserve ASCL's 150-year history. More
  • A look back through time
    Primary education has a rich and vibrant history, evolving over centuries to become the system we know today. Tiffnie Harris unveils the fascinating tale of how education for the youngest minds has transformed from its humble beginnings. More
  • When can I leave school?
    Sixth form education is still a relatively new concept in the context of the last 150 years of education. Kevin Gilmartin looks back at how our present sixth form sector has evolved. More
  • The evolution of business leadership
    Emma Harrison takes readers on a 150-year journey of school business leadership. More
  • Thanks and best wishes...
    From individual support and advice from our hotline and officers to the advice and guidance provided throughout the pandemic and beyond, here ASCL members share their memories and interactions with us and send their best wishes to the association. More
  • Embracing change
    Headteacher Tanya Douglas says she's extremely proud to be one of the longest serving members on ASCL Council - the engine room of the association's policymaking. More
  • Past Tense?
    Carl Smith shares a headmaster's log from 150 years ago and it may or may not surprise you that many of the challenges of the past remain to this day. More
Bookmark and Share

Embracing change

Headteacher Tanya Douglas says she's extremely proud to be one of the longest serving members on ASCL Council - the engine room of the association's policymaking. 

When I was asked to write an article as one of the longest serving members on ASCL Council, two things came to mind: first, where have the years gone? And second, that ASCL has played a significant part in my life, and it has been an honour to serve ASCL as a London representative. 

I have been an ASCL Council member for almost a decade, a role that I am extremely proud of. Working collaboratively as part of this organisation has given me the opportunity to take part in educational discussions and influence on a national level. It has enabled me to have foresight of the national education landscape and direction of education policy and place them in the context of my school, helping me to continue to drive school improvement. During this time, I have served on various committees, and I have represented ASCL at Annual Conference, roundtable discussions and other events. 

ASCL Council in 2024 is unrecognisable compared to the Council I joined in 2014. Then, I was an assistant headteacher and was encouraged by my school’s former headteacher to join Council. She was committed to our system having representative leaders and voices in all sectors of education and believed in the old adage, “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” 

At that time, like many other organisations, ASCL Council was not as representative of the members it served. In 2014, I was one of the only Council members from a global majority background. Council meetings were mainly filled with white men, most of whom were headteachers. 

My former school’s headteacher was keen for this not to deter me from fully embracing the organisation and speaking up in Council meetings to have my voice heard. Well, I did just that. I threw myself into Council life, getting involved during and outside of meetings and proudly chairing the Ethics, Inclusion and Equalities Committee for several years. 

Everyone’s welcome 

Over the last decade, I have witnessed firsthand ASCL placing diversity and representation at the forefront of the association and its values. I feel that I belong and that I am welcome and heard as an ASCL Council member, and that my voice and contributions are valued. I am part of an organisation of like-minded people who truly care about young people. Being on Council I have a greater understanding of the different sectors in education and that ASCL is a broad church. What is most critical to see is that young people have parity in whatever type of school they go to and that they receive excellent teaching and leadership. ASCL Council is now much more diverse and includes representatives from primary, alternative provision and assistant and deputy heads. 

It is hard to capture the essence of being on Council in a short article, but I have had many career enhancing and proud moments in the association. My proudest moment is hosting Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson at ASCL Annual Conference. It was humbling and inspiring to share the stage with such a remarkable athlete and campaigner for disability rights and increased participation of women in sports. 

In 2023, I also had the honour of sitting on the General Secretary Select Committee to appoint the new ASCL general secretary and feel honoured to have had an input in the next stage of ASCL’s journey. 

Tanya Douglas
ASCL Council member and Headteacher of Chace Community School in London