Movers & Shakers, Politics

Movers & Shakers: Thomas Flower, Christopher Edwards and Marian Fairley

Your weekly guide to the newest appointments in the education sector.


Thomas Flower has been appointed deputy headteacher at Heathfield community college in East Sussex.

He was assistant head at Worthing high school in West Sussex, where he was part of the leadership team responsible for bringing the school out of special measures. Once the school had achieved an Ofsted rating of good, Flower decided to look for “another challenge”.

Speaking of his new role at the East Sussex secondary, Flower said: “It’s a good school, but it’s got enormous capacity to be an even better school. I want it to be a school where students can access the same opportunities as their peers across the country.”

He said he planned to “improve the effectiveness of teachers”, through empowering staff and making them feel able to innovate in the classroom.

He also planned to look at ways of narrowing the achievement gap by staging interventions both in and out of the classroom.

Flower, who started his new job last month, has so far been impressed by the staff and their commitment to the school’s vision of developing teaching and learning.

“One of the things we talked about is much greater precision in planning. It’s about meeting the needs of the students sitting in front of you, so you can teach much more focused lessons as a result.”


Christopher Edwards has been appointed headteacher of Brighton Hill community school in Basingstoke from January next year.

He is currently deputy head at Magna Carta school in Runnymede, where he has worked for just over three years. The school received an Ofsted “good” in September 2013, after converting to an academy.

“It has always been my dream to be a head,” Edwards said. “I’ve been doing the NPQH qualification course this year and it really whetted my appetite to get a headship as soon as possible.”

He began his career as an English teacher, and hopes still to have the opportunity to teach in his new headship, as well as “instilling a feeling of pride” in the school, and “building a team ethos”.

Edwards is currently writing a book about motivating teenagers, and hopes to bring his expertise to his new role. “I’ve got myself a bit of a reputation as being able to motivate disengaged students, and I put together a book proposal for Routledge and they liked it.”


Marian Fairley is stepping down as headteacher at Lynnfield primary school in Hartlepool after six years and after 30 years in education.

Fairley first taught in Buckinghamshire, taking up the headship at Lynnfield in 2010 after working as a deputy head at a school in Middlesbrough for ten years.

Speaking of her retirement this December, she said: “I have been very fortunate to enjoy a long career in education but think the time is right to hand over the reins.

“There is no greater privilege than to work with children and help to shape their future lives. I will leave the profession with many fond memories of wonderful children and fantastic people I have met and worked with. It will be a wrench.”


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