Head to Head with Tony Callcut, Link Academy Trust Executive Principal
Your current title / role:
Link Academy Trust Executive Principal.
Brief career background:
I started my teaching career at Ernesettle Junior School in Plymouth and then moved to Woodlands Park Primary School in Ivybridge. I became a member of the Senior Leadership Team and KS2 co-ordinator, with responsibility for school assessment (as well as curriculum responsibility for PE).
I spent a year teaching in a primary school in Palmwoods, Queensland, Australia. When I returned to the UK, I was appointed as Partnership Development Manager for the Schools Sports Partnership in Torbay.
After then becoming Director of Sport at the college and completing my NPQH, I was appointed as Headteacher at Diptford Primary School. I helped establish the Totnes Federation of Village Schools and eventually became Executive Headteacher of Diptford, Harbertonford, Stoke Gabriel and Landscove Primary Schools.
I then formed the Link Academy Trust with Newton and Teign Federation, which is a Multi-academy trust specifically catering for the needs of small schools.
What does a typical working day look like?
I start the day in one of the schools, to see the parents, staff and Head of School. After helping with any school specific problems, I concentrate on school improvement work for the Academy. I may then go to another one of the schools after lunch so that I can see parents and staff at the end of the day.
If I have team meetings or deadlines to meet, I work in the Academy offices at Landscove House, which has our administrative offices and Board room.
What did you have for dinner last night?
I have a small flock of sheep so we are well stocked with lamb in the freezer. Last night I had lamb chops.
What was the last piece of music you listened to?
Riders on the Storm by The Doors, this morning – on a CD I listen to when driving to work.
What was your favourite and most hated subject when you were at school?
My favourite subject was PE. I particularly enjoyed football, cross-country running and athletics. I hated French and was completely useless at it… and unfortunately I still am.
What is the best thing about your job?
There is so much that is good about this job. I am fortunate to be able to work with such a good team of dedicated staff who all go the extra mile to make sure the children get the best education during their time with us.
I also like the fact that no two days are the same – every day brings a different challenge!
If you could change one thing about the current education system what would it be?
Although I am comfortable with change and understand that we need to look for ways to improve, it would be good to work in an environment that is not constantly changing with the whims of whoever is currently Secretary of State for Education.
I also think the way schools are held to account through the use of KS1 and KS2 tests is very narrow and does not encourage schools to deliver a wider curriculum.