Over the past few weeks many people have quietly being working behind the scenes to successfully secure Geoff Barton’s nomination to be the next ASCL General Secretary. With hundreds of nominations from across the country there will be an election, unprecedented in recent ASCL history, in January 2017.
With the realities of still leading a school full-time it sadly won’t be possible for Geoff to accept invitations to speak at various schools around the country. His current school, its staff and pupils must come first. But here are some reasons why so many of us nominated Geoff and hope you’ll join us in voting for him.
As one of the people who nominated Geoff I was delighted to write a statement on behalf of all his supporters. Like many ASCL members, I want my prospective ASCL leaders to have extensive school leadership experience; it’s a non-negotiable for many of us. Geoff is a school leader’s leader. The supporters’ statement is below:
Working from the actualities of headship, for more than 14 years Geoff Barton has operated at the intersection of policy and practice. This includes the reality of school leadership, the inner workings of ASCL, and successful engagement with government.
Uniquely qualified for the role as ASCL’s next general secretary, Geoff would bring his depth of knowledge and extensive experience to the job of reinvigorating ASCL’s response to the numerous – sometimes unnecessary and unhelpful – national policy changes. He knows first-hand what does and doesn’t work in schools and colleges.
Geoff is eminently qualified to speak on behalf of school and college leaders with a profound understanding of issues such as curriculum, assessment, inspection, recruitment and retention, funding, workload and colleagues’ terms & conditions. Understanding the complex interplay of these issues in various institutions will be invaluable in leading ASCL’s strategy to influence government policy.
Passionate and principled, Geoff has for many years helped determine what was in the best interest of his own school community. Through extensive networking with leaders in a variety of different institutions, he has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing all of us across the system.
Through values-driven leadership, Geoff Barton will pursue an education system which serves the needs of all young people across all types of school and college.
Geoff has genuine empathy with ASCL members. He has the intellect to reshape our organisation into one that will assertively represent our hopes and concerns to policy makers. If elected, he will have the mandate to ensure ASCL is true to itself as a members organisation. His nomination by hundreds of ordinary members, from across the country, is a testament to democracy in action within our professional association.
The high esteem in which Geoff and his work is held nationally forms a strong basis upon which to build an authoritative voice for the profession. A highly respected member of the wider educational community, he will be an advocate for teachers and leaders, speaking with authority, from a wide evidence-base, on the key issues that matter to ASCL members.
Assertive when challenging poor policy, supportive of the government when appropriate, and possessing the subtlety to nudge ideas in the right direction to enable successful implementation in schools and colleges, Geoff has much to offer members and policy-makers alike.
What sets Geoff apart in this election is his school leadership experience, authenticity and direct insights when representing either individual members, schools, colleges, or the education system as a whole. An excellent administrator, he has led his whole election campaign whilst managing the pressures of leading a school.
Under ASCL’s Constitution, Geoff Barton needed 75 full members to nominate him from ten branches. In fact, he gained around 300 nominations from across the UK.
Good luck to both candidates in the weeks ahead. However, Geoff Barton has got my vote. I hope he will have yours!
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