Head to Head with Chris Daniel, Business Development Manager at South Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust
Your current title / role
Business Development Manager for South Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust
Brief career background
I Studied Education Studies at Durham University, and always wanted to work in education, but not as a classroom teacher. I came into South Dartmoor Community College as a Project Manager of sorts leading on a transfer of ownership and operation of a Local Authority Sports Centre to the College. From there, I have led on generating new income and creating new opportunities and partnerships, before moving into a Trust-wide role to take a wider operational view. I now look after operations and compliance across the MAT.
What does a typical working day look like?
No two days are ever the same. I like to try and get some office time each day to touch base with the team around me and my CEO, but with 8 schools to support I’m often heading out for site visits, meetings and catch ups or delivering training and monitoring compliance. In my role I come across pretty much everyone with any interest in education – from teachers, directors and parents to architects, contractors, salespeople – and of course solicitors!
What did you have for dinner last night?
Last night was a late one, so it was just Pasta Bolognese from a pre-made weekend batch!
What was the last piece of music you listened to?
I have a very random Spotify playlist in the car that has a huge range of songs I’ve enjoyed over the last 15 years or so – Craig David features on it a few times.
What was your favourite and most hated subject when you were at school?
The best were definitely History and PE – I had good teachers who weren’t afraid from deviate from the curriculum to go further and spend more time on things I was interested in and that’s had a lasting impression on me. I did the absolute minimum I could in Science.
What is the best thing about your job?
I like every day being different and the vibrancy of working in schools with so much going on constantly. It is rewarding knowing I am making a difference, and I’m working in a role where every decision I make has the intention of improving something for children.
If you could change one thing about the current education system what would it be?
Obvious funding issues aside, the level of scrutiny on schools from all angles is intense. It would be nice to feel the outside world wanted to see positives rather than negatives sometimes and a little more belief that everyone within education has chosen that career because they want to try and improve the lives of other peoples children!
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