Meet the Principal: Alan Dane, principal of Harris Academy Bermondsey
I firmly believe that every child deserves an education as good as the one I was lucky enough to have. My Religious Studies teacher, Mr Kitchen, was particularly inspirational and his example is one I still try to follow today.
I started my career at Harris Crystal Palace as an NQT in 2000, when it was the only Harris school. I then worked outside of the Federation for a few years before coming to Harris Academy Bermondsey in 2010. Even though every Harris academy is different, all the schools are united by a relentless pursuit of what is in each student’s best educational interests. It is hard to describe just how much this sets apart Harris schools from most others unless you have worked both at Harris and elsewhere. Having the freedom and support to put each child’s success ahead of any other interest or consideration is hugely rewarding.
The most positive thing for me about working at Harris has been the amount and quality of support available to help you be successful with your students, whether that is from your mentors when you are a trainee or from the central team when you are a Principal. As an employee of the Federation, you will be challenged and rewarded in ways that you never have before, all for the benefit of young people who get only one chance at educational success.
One unusual feature of Harris Academy Bermondsey is that every teacher is a permanent member of staff and a subject specialist. We do not have supply teachers and HAB staff stay here for many years. Our girls deserve consistency and quality in every lesson, year in and year out.
This means we normally only have a handful of vacancies each year, so we are fortunate that we can be very fussy about making sure we get exactly the right person for any role. Your application must, therefore, show why you are good enough for our academy and, if shortlisted, you should be prepared to be put through your paces on the recruitment day.
My top three qualities when looking for a teacher:
· Excellent subject knowledge and qualifications;
· A belief that every girl can succeed, whatever her background or barriers to learning;
· Willingness to do whatever needs to be done to help your students and your colleagues succeed.