We are delighted that Hannah Wilson has recently joined the Whole Education team as Associate Director. She will be working with our existing network to support their Whole Education experience, and provide further expertise and insight on leading a whole education across a range of settings. Additionally she will be developing new programmes and new school/trust partnerships to enhance the WE experience for all.
WE spoke to Hannah to find out why she is joining the WE team and about her guiding values as a leader.
Why do you work in education?
I have always loved learning. I enjoyed school, college, university and the many courses I have been on over the years. I was a teacher for 18 years and a leader for 17. I refer to myself as an educator now, as I no longer work in a school, but I am still working in the profession and across the system. I am a liminal leader in that I lead outside of an institution, as an independent individual, in the grassroots space.
What are your guiding principles/values?
I am an ethical leader – I am passionate about leading with integrity and our actions, behaviours and decisions being centred on our core values. My core values include diversity, equality and inclusion. I am an inclusive ally and I am committed to empowering others to find and use their voice. I co-founded #WomenEd and #DiverseEd to create spaces and communities for diverse voices to be heard and to be amplified.
Why do you think the idea of a ‘whole education’ for all matters?
As a Headteacher I created a school with the vision of ‘nurturing the hearts and the minds’ of the whole child. I believe that education should be holistic. I also believe that leadership should be holistic. We are whole people and our needs need to be met taking this into consideration. We should not be reducing names to numbers in spreadsheets. A commitment to a whole education is also a commitment to humanity and universal human values.
Whole Education was founded to help schools collaborate and share ideas; as founder John Dunford said, to ‘look out but not up’ for ideas and solutions. Why do you think finding ways for schools to collaborate is important?
I had the pleasure of meeting John when he came to visit my school. He gave a thought-provoking keynote speech at the official opening of The Didcot Art Room which we hosted to serve our local community. He commented that the “values in this school are palpable”.
I am an outward-facing leader and I recruited an outward-facing team. We sought and we shared best practice by developing intentional partnerships and meaningful collaborations with individuals and organisations who were vision and values aligned.
Why are you excited to join Whole Education as Associate Director?
As someone who now works independently, I am excited to be an Associate in a values- aligned team and part of a community of schools who share a vision for the future of education. I am an Associate with a few organisations who I have chosen to work with because I believe in the work that they do. I look forward to bringing my experience and expertise to the community to support individuals and schools in developing their vision to provision.