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Meet the Principal: Rebecca Hickey, Executive Principal, Chobham Academy and Principal, Harris Academy Beckenham

I came into teaching inspired by a love for English Literature and an outstanding teacher who guided me through GCSE and A Level.

My career started in local authority state comprehensives, rising from NQT to assistant principal over seven years, before joining the Harris Federation – where I have now worked for ten years.

My time with Harris has been hugely rewarding. I have been given endless opportunities to improve my professional skills and have met some wonderful colleagues, with whom I have felt privileged to collaborate. It is exceedingly challenging, and expectations are very high, but the satisfaction I have felt through successes in my various roles have made every minute worth it.

The most positive aspect of working for the Harris Federation is the way the team works together. There is always somebody available for advice, guidance and encouragement, with no issue being too trivial. The support network is quite phenomenal, and this has not lessened despite our rapid growth as a Federation.

The academies I lead are very different, but both have enormous strengths. Beckenham is a very special Academy: a true community comprehensive serving its local residents. It has improved year on year and is increasingly becoming the school of choice in our area. Our staff and students are remarkable and our ethos of scientific enterprise as well as our relentless focus on WORD (Writing, Oracy and Reading Development) makes it a thriving, dynamic place of learning.

Chobham is in the heart of East Village and, as the Olympic legacy school, its building has a stature and elegance which has led to architectural awards and accolades. We specialise in performing arts and English, both of which are very successful areas of expertise at the Academy. We attained a judgement of Outstanding across every category within our first 18 months of opening – a phenomenal achievement for an all-through state school, and one of which we are very proud.

If you are applying for a position at either academy, you need to have optimism and a ‘can-do attitude’ among your core values – they are fast-paced, challenging places of learning. You will need to be flexible to the needs of our students and dedicate yourself to every aspect of academy life.

If you possess these qualities, the Harris Federation is a truly exceptional place to build your teaching career. There is nowhere better to receive exemplary professional development and to work with experts across every aspect of the educational realm.

My top three qualities when looking for a teacher:

Subject expertise A ‘can-do’ approach The ability to communicate effectively and accurately

Visit our current vacancies page to see the latest opportunities at Chobham Academy or Harris Academy Beckenham, or contact the careers team on


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