Case Studies

Don't take our word for it. Hear about leadership at United Learning from those who know best: our leaders.

Jim Coupe

Jim Coupe

Principal / Head

Shoreham Academy

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.

Rebecca Glover

Rebecca Glover

Principal / Head

Surbiton High School

I have been working in education for the last 27 years, starting my career as a Geography and PE Teacher. I then moved to Head of Department, before becoming a Director of Sixth Form. Thereafter I became Assistant Head, Deputy Head at Tadcaster Grammar School.

Ben Antell

Ben Antell

Principal / Head

Glenmoor & Winton Academies

Teaching was a career I was keen to pursue after being inspired by a member of staff at my secondary school. This coupled with a desire not to sit behind a desk all day drew me towards the teaching profession. My degree in science and physical education followed from Exeter University and I was subsequently appointed as a teacher of Physical Education and Science at Poole High School, Dorset. I spent five years at Poole High with internal promotions being gained as Deputy Head of House and KS4 Progress Leader for PE. 

Leon Wilson

Leon Wilson

Principal / Head

The Hurlingham Academy

I started my teaching career in Jamaica, in 2000. Two years later, I moved to England to take up a position as science teacher at Burlington Danes School in London, following the recommendation from a friend. Throughout my 14 years at the school, I worked in a range of roles as I built up my experience, including across the science and maths departments, as a Head of Year, Assistant Head, and finally Vice Principal.

Sam Davidson

Sam Davidson

Principal / Head

Carter Community School

I started my teaching career in 1992 as a PE teacher, for 11-18 year olds. My career developed with academic mentor, Head of Year and Assistant Head Teacher positions, and in 2010 I joined Carter Community School as Vice Principal. I joined Carter for a few reasons: it is the type of school I enjoy working in, you have to immerse yourself into it and support, guide and challenge the students, and you really do feel like you a making a difference and opening doors to a brighter future.

Derek Davis

Derek Davis

Regional Director

United Learning

I started teaching in 1987, thinking I was just going to do one year then go off to be a theatre director. My first school was in Trafford, South Manchester, which still operates selection system at age 11; so effectively a ‘Secondary Modern’ school. I suppose that started what was to be a career in working in schools in challenging circumstances where building students’ belief in themselves and what they could possibly achieve is fundamental.  

Stuart Edwards

Stuart Edwards

Principal / Head

Midhurst Rother College

I started my teaching career as an NQT in Hastings in September 1998 as a Languages teacher. My main language is German and I spent a year teaching in a school in Germany in 1995-96 as part of my degree and it was there that I decided to pursue teaching. I enjoyed teaching the students and seeing them grow in confidence and ability throughout my time in the school, as well as having the opportunity to build relationships with young people and other teachers. It was there that I realised that teaching was the career path I wanted to follow.

Frank McCarron

Frank McCarron

Executive Principal

South Manchester Cluster

In 1991, I decided to leave my role in the Midlands as a Senior Pastoral Leader to work as a Deputy Head at St Bonaventure’s, an 11-18 all-boys’ school in the East End of London, with responsibility for what was then the new local management of schools and the new national curriculum.  I suppose what was very unique about this post is that I was travelling 120 miles one way from Nuneaton to Newham and back every day.

Harry Wall

Harry Wall

Principal / Head

Hanwell Fields Community School

I qualified as a teacher of Physical Education in 1997.  I became a Department Lead within 2 years for PE and PSHE in an Independent School.  In 2000, I decided to move to Oxfordshire and took up a post at a secondary school under LEA which was at the time in ‘special measures’. Here I became an AST and supported the school’s improvement journey, running a Learning Support Unit and developing the PSHE and Citizenship curriculum framework.

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