Mum goes from school helper to headteacher

Rebecca Clarke, new head at Greenleas Derwent Road, Leighton Buzzard
Rebecca Clarke, new head at Greenleas Derwent Road, Leighton Buzzard

A volunteer who started out as a parent helper nine years ago has gone on to become headteacher at the same school.

Newly-appointed Rebecca Clarke first began working with Greenleas School as an assistant in 2006 when her daughter was a pupil.

She progressed from a parent helper to teacher training at the school, and taught there for several years before being made acting headteacher in 2014.

Speaking about her substantive appointment on Friday, she said: “It feels fantastic actually, I’ve been acting head for nearly a year and it just feels like a very natural progression.

“A lot of new heads start their careers somewhere completely different and I’ve been here for the duration of my training.”

And it seems Mrs Clarke’s step-by-step progression happened very smoothly.

She said: “I must say I had thought about it before I came out of university, but what really triggered it for me was working in the school and helping children to read and write.”

Mrs Clarke said keeping that rewarding atmosphere in school was essential. Even though Greenleas now operates at two sites, she is adamant they work well as a combined unit.

She said: “We’re a very collaborative school, we value everybody.

“So much of education is about relationships – especially with families – and I think I do have a unique perspective that way, having done so many roles.”

Talking about Greenleas’ direction for the future, Mrs Clarke said she would try to maintain its high standards.

She said: “We’ve just came through an expansion and opened our second site in 2013.

“The vision has been very much to get the school established, really what the school is doing right now is growing.

“We’re always developing staff here, we’re looking to encourage children to grow and reach their potential and we’re doing that for all members of the community.”