Case study: Jim Coupe

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Case study: Jim Coupe

I began my career as a teacher of history and consequently head of faculty at Uckfield Community Technology College before joining Shoreham Academy’s predecessor school, King’s Manor Community College, as an Assistant Principal. In 2008 King’s Manor reopened as Shoreham Academy, as part of United Learning. From the outset I felt very happy to be working for an outward looking and caring organisation, a feeling that has been reinforced through experience over the last nine years. I became Vice Principal in 2009 and was offered the substantive post of Principal in 2014 following six months as acting Principal.

Shoreham Academy has always been an outward-looking school, wholly committed to doing the very best for the children of Shoreham and Southwick. United Learning is equally caring and inclusive in outlook, appreciating the bigger picture that sees education as much about the development of good character as ensuring excellent academic outcomes. United Learning care deeply about the wellbeing of employees, essential in current educational landscape in which colleagues are working harder and are more accountable than they ever have been.

During my time at Shoreham, I have grown from being a first-time senior leader into the proud Principal of a great school. I feel that United Learning have nurtured, supported and challenged me throughout that journey, and will continue to do so as I progress further in my career. It was great to have the opportunity to be coached by Andy Buck; he enabled to reflect and refine my leadership skills in order to bring the very best out of people. It has also been a pleasure to be led by Dame Sally Coates; she is an inspirational leader with unparalleled school experience who absolutely sees the Principal as the leader of their school.

As I see it there is no better job in the world; I live and work in Shoreham and Southwick and see my role as enabling children from all backgrounds to be highly successful in whatever life path they choose to take, as well as to become respectful and proactive citizens in their community. A school can transform communities through education but also through engagement and participation in wider locality matters. I am there to help to connect things together, both inside school and beyond. I love to nurture the growth and development of colleagues at all levels to help ensure that people feel happy, challenged and aspirational for themselves and others. I also work closely as a strategic partner for the United Learning Teaching School Alliance, this aspect of my role enables me to work in support of nationwide development across our large group of schools. As a member of the Heads’ Reference Group I additionally have the opportunity to feed back to the United Learning Executive Team on future strategy and direction.

I am very happy in my current job and seek to continue to challenge myself by making Shoreham Academy an even better school to study and work at, as well as to continue to influence shape and direction for our wider family of schools within United Learning.

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