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My Secondment Experience

 

I joined Rustington Primary School in 2002, jumping straight into the rollercoaster ride that is Year 6! I thoroughly enjoyed working in this now expanding school – it’s a fantastic community of friendly staff and supportive parents, with a clear ethos of developing lifelong learners.

Professionally, I was given lots of opportunities to fulfil many roles and responsibilities across the school including work as SENCo, taking the lead on PE, mentoring and being a middle leader. Personally, I was in a happy environment where people genuinely looked out for each other and helped one another. When Rustington joined Schoolsworks in 2013 and the concept of secondments to other schools across the Trust was explained, I didn’t think for a minute that it was ‘for me’; I had enough challenge and opportunity already.

Fast-forward to May/June 2018, and I was asked directly to consider a secondment to East Preston Juniors, to share my KS2 experience, join a new Year 3 team and ensure a good start to pupil progress. My initial thoughts were to agree to the move - it was only for one school year and we all know how quickly a school year dashes by! Ultimately I could give East Preston my support until July 2019, then return ‘home’ to Rustington.

Coming into the new environment at East Preston I knew that I would have to adjust as quickly and smoothly as possible. My secondment gave me the opportunity to network with a new set of fantastic colleagues, and almost immediately came the familiar feeling that I was a valued member of the team, and in a really positive learning environment. Perhaps I had become too comfortable at Rustington, and this experience could help me widen my view of the other schools in the Trust?

Although challenging the secondment was enjoyable and very rewarding right from the start. The support I received was excellent, and it was invaluable for me to work in a new setting, seeing that the skills I already had were very easily transferrable. Towards the middle of my secondment year, I began discussing with the Trust’s leadership team how much more I could do at East Preston if my time at the school was longer. This led, after several meetings, to the agreement that I could remain at East Preston as a permanent member of staff. No interviews, no preparation of a portfolio; just a straightforward move into a new post with plenty of professional potential. It feels like a real win-win for all sides, and shows the great benefit of the mobility that being in a Trust has given me!

Mark Bylett