Charlotte Antoniou
Posted on 18 Feb 2016

Head to Head with Executive Headteacher/CEO for the First Federation Trust

Paul Jones, Executive Headteacher/CEO for the First Federation Trust gives us an insight into his day to day life.

Your current title / role

Executive Headteacher/CEO for the First Federation Trust

Brief career background

I have taught across the whole Primary age range having worked in a wide variety of schools (rural, town and city) starting my career teaching traveller children in a caravan on a ‘gypsy’ site. Before starting the First Federation in 2006, I had been the Head of two schools, one a city middle school in very challenging circumstances, the other a large (for Devon) rural primary. 

I have been Inspected 17 times as the leader of a school which could be some sort of record. At the end of this year I will have been a teacher for 20 years and a Headteacher for 20 years. I am currently the Executive Headteacher and CEO to over 9 Academies with over 2000 pupils, two of which are sponsored. At the moment 78% of our children, in our convert academies, go to Outstanding schools. I am a National Leader of Education and the First Federation has been designated a National Support School. I was awarded an OBE in 2010 for my contribution to Education nationally and locally. 

What does a typical working day look like?

There is no such thing as a typical working day. In the last four weeks we have been inspected twice, one as a short inspection converted to a full with an outstanding judgment and the other a full inspection. One day I will be in three different schools, another day working at local and national level on school improvement and another day working with the Trust Business Leader and Directors on Trust growth and business.

What did you have for dinner last night?

Homemade fish pie.

What was the last piece of music you listened to?

Not Giving In, by Rudimental featuring John Newman and Alex Clare

What was your favourite and most hated subject when you were at school?

Maths and Biology were my favourites and Music and French were my worst but not hated.

What is the best thing about your job?

Working with extremely talented and dedicated professionals, old and young alike, who are determined to provide the very best education for all children. Going into a school which has been transformed by these people and listening to children who are excited and proud about what they have learnt and the progress they have made.

If you could change one thing about the current education system what would it be?

The local and national determination to hang onto the past and to try to recreate old systems and badge them as new. A golden opportunity to change and improve the structure and system for school leadership and school improvement is being missed.