Learn from the pandemic to better motivate school staff, says new Head of School Support

The new Head of School Support Services at a Birmingham charity has pledged to support more schools to provide better outcomes for children and further improve professional development for teachers and support staff.

Kirsty Jones, newly appointed Head of School Support at Services For Education – the Birmingham-based provider of expert training and development to teaching and support staff – said the pandemic and lockdown had exacerbated the need for greater levels of training and professional development in schools to enable them to better respond to children’s needs.

Currently, Services For Education’s School Support Service provides expert training and development to teaching and support staff in nearly 600 schools in the West Midlands and further afield, improving practices and ensuring teachers are equipped to respond to developments in curriculum and policy.

Kirsty joins Services For Education with 20-years’ experience in school leadership spanning mainstream, special schools and alternative provision settings working with schools with both disadvantaged children and high attaining pupils.

Most recently, she was Executive Principal at Shaw Education Trust – which has 26 academies including two Institutes of Education. Prior to that, Kirsty was Executive School Improvement Advisor at Wolverhampton University Trust and has been head teacher in two secondary schools in the West Midlands.

“The pandemic has inflicted significant damage on schools, children and teachers, highlighting inequalities but also resulting in new ways of delivering training and support. We need to better improve the understanding of how professional development can support individuals and schools. There must be greater investment in people and resources using technology where appropriate – such as online learning – to make best use of everyone’s time. Only by doing that will we improve outcomes for children whilst creating motivated teams in our schools,” said Kirsty.

“Services For Education has an acknowledged and formidable track-record in assisting schools, teachers, and support staff.  Our specialists have a wealth of expertise, are skilled and knowledgeable and committed to supporting Birmingham and West Midlands schools and ensuring that this region provides the best opportunities for our young people,” she said.

Services For Education’s School Support Service is also a leading provider of safeguarding education, delivering training, in-person and on-line, to 400 schools. In addition, it delivers innovative programmes to support the physical and emotional health of children and young people through Health for Life and other community-based activity.

As well as its School Support Service, Services For Education is also well known for its Music Service which works with 93% of Birmingham’s schools – teaching music to nearly 38,000 children. It also runs 97 ensembles that are free to everyone and provides 27,000 musical instruments free-of-charge to ensure all children have access to playing and enjoying music together.

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