Charlotte Antoniou
Posted on 7 Mar 2016

Head to head with Jo Evans, Headteacher at St Leonard's School

Jo Evans, Headteacher at St Leonard's School gives us an insight into her day to day life.

Your current title / role

Headteacher at St Leonard’s School and currently Headteacher at Westcliff too

Brief career background 

I started my teaching career as an early years practitioner  in 1992 and became deputy headteacher of a First School, four years later. Moved to a Primary School Deputy headship to gain KS2 experience, another three years then I was appointed to my first headship whilst five months pregnant. I served three years as head of a small school, then moved on to a four class primary school (Kenn) in special measures. The school gained outstanding in 2009 so my challenge threshold led me to take on St Leonard’s in 2010 which last year gained an outstanding Ofsted judgement. The school has become an Academy as part of First Federation Trust and I have returned to the shop floor at Westcliff, a sponsored school and enjoying new experiences.

What does a typical working day look like? 

I get up at 6am, catch up on emails or read into school for 7.15 to 7.30am. Catch up with staff before the start of the day, stand on the gate and welcome in parents and children. Personnel is a big feature of my day, running two large schools – lots of time is spent talking to people and then making notes. I guess most of my time in the school day is face to face with people which means I then spend the evenings catching up on paperwork which is so easy to let slip. 

I leave school around 6pm and then home to the family. My boys go to bed around 8pm and then it’s back to work most evenings before a coffee and catch up with the hubby.

What did you have for dinner last night?

Cheese and biscuits!! Not a good advert for domesticity me.

What was the last piece of music you listened to?

London Grammar’s – If You Wait

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

Favourite subject was Latin as I found it really easy and had an amazing teacher – believe it or not that was at Okehampton College not a public school! Worst subject was PE as was so overweight I never got picked for teams and dreaded having to do cross country which involved running up onto the moor. I was usually late back and so late to the next lesson.

What is the best thing about your job?

Making a difference to children’s lives and creating schools where the pupils really are at the heart of what we do.

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

To separate it from the political micromanagement that we currently experience. The profession needs to take back the reins.