Teaching is a part of the job Ms Bailey really enjoys and as a Head Teacher, she still has a teaching timetable.
To celebrate her 100th term, the Student Senior Leadership Team wanted to find out more about her time in teaching and were given the opportunity to Interview their Head Teacher. Molly, Rupesh, Max and Beth took it in turns to ask the questions.
Their first question was about the changes that had happened during the times she’s been teaching. Ms Bailey started at Kilmarnock Academy at the age of 21 with tons of energy! Back then the belt was still in use for misbehaving students. There has been a transition from the chalk board to smart screens. Agnes described how drawing diagrams on the board could take hours and there was no google! Personally, although she doesn’t have the energy of a 21 year old any longer, being older means she is more measured and takes the time to stop and think things through.
The team were curious about Ms Bailey’s highlights during her careers; one of which was during her time as Head of Maths at a school best not named where the results were so awful no one in her Year 11 class had ever passed a test and that year 12% had achieved an A* - C in maths. Ms Bailey also told a couple of stories about students who literally had their lives turned around which are the student stories all teachers
cherish. Being the Head Teacher of Ash Manor was another big career highlight.
The students were really inspired hearing about how Ms Bailey started her career as a teenage mum, but determined not to let that define her, she gained a maths degree and completed her teacher training. This allowed her to work around her daughter, fitting in marking and lesson planning in the evenings when her daughter was in bed.
Ms Bailey didn’t consider becoming a Head Teacher until 12 years ago whilst at Brackenhale School where she was told to consider being a Head Teacher and put on the NPQH course (the head teachers’ qualification). At the time the Head she was working for was really inspiring which made a big difference and with her daughter now grown up, she could take more opportunities. Her career path took her to Deputy Head at Raynes Park High School before becoming the Head at Ash Manor School.
The answer to the question what been the most important thing you’ve learned as a teacher came easily – kids come first. Education takes you out of poverty and is critical to future opportunities. The most important aspect of her role as a teacher and a head is to ensure that every child’s education is at least good.
If she had to go back to her first term, her advice to herself would be ‘don’t give up’ and ‘stick to your principles’, advice Agnes follows to this day.
To new teachers starting in the industry Agnes had this to say “It’s the best but the toughest job. If you don’t love it, don’t do it. If you want to succeed; take help, watch and learn from experienced colleagues.” Although, in her own words, Agnes ‘fell into teaching’ the love of teaching has kept her going – for 100 terms – so far!
Ash Manor School
Manor Road, Ash, Surrey, GU12 6QH
Tel: 01252 353900
Notes to editors
Ash Manor is a secondary school serving the local community. It is a co-educational school with students aged
between 11 and 16 years old (Years 7 – 11/Key Stage 3 & 4). Ofsted have graded the school as “Good” in two successive inspections, the most recent being March 2017.