23 January 2017

New Start: @TeacherHead

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Today marked a new beginning in lots of ways. For various reasons that I’ll explore at another time, as of Friday 20th, I am no longer the Headteacher at Highbury Grove School.  I wish everyone associated with the school the very best.  I hope that…

New Start: @TeacherHead


Today marked a new beginning in lots of ways.

For various reasons that I’ll explore at another time, as of Friday 20th, I am no longer the Headteacher at Highbury Grove School.  I wish everyone associated with the school the very best.  I hope that students find joy and fulfilment in their future lives and strive to make a difference to the world.   It has been an honour to work with so many wonderful young people, a genuine privilege to lead such a committed, talented group of staff and to serve the community as Headteacher.

As the school moves on, so do I.  I’m not going to disappear or hide away; on the contrary, I’ll be making a return to regular blogging with a catalogue of new experiences to share and discuss. I’m also now looking to support schools through @teacherhead-consulting while I weigh up opportunities to return to Headship.  I’m going to return to service with the Heads’ Roundtable and continue working with the National Baccalaureate Trust.

For numerous personal and professional reasons, I decided that my previous blog /twitter ID ‘headguruteacher’ had to die. Over the last few weeks I shut down this blog and the associated twitter account.  I needed space to think.  It’s been lovely – a time to watch, listen and reflect; time to decide what to do next.  I didn’t want to turn it back on unchanged and, in any case, the ‘guru’ part (which started as a bit of private fun related to my time in Indonesia) has always been a bit awkward.  It’s gone.  I tried using @tom_sherrington but my namesake @tomsherrington and I were getting confused and it was too much trouble.  Happily @teacherhead was available.  It works for me.  It describes what I do. It also references a frame of mind as in ‘I’ve got my teacher head on!’  But let’s not overdo it!

I’ve got various ideas for blogs brewing and I’ll unleash them soon enough.  Meanwhile I’ve been overwhelmed by the flurry of recent comments and messages sent via twitter referencing the impact some of my posts have had for different people.  It’s heartening to know that people value the output from this blog so I am determined to keep it going. Thank you everyone who has offered support and words of encouragement; it’s meant a great deal.

The future is now… let’s see what happens.

PS: In case you were wondering, the image at the top is just a doodle/design I’ve been tinkering with for a while; symbols that capture the things that inspire me:.  Perhaps this could be the @teacherhead coat of arms!  My family sits at the top; DNA, for the wonders of life and living things; pi for the physical wonders of nature –  beautiful in its complexity and simplicity; infinity – for life’s infinite possibilities and the endlessness of space and time; bass clef – to represent music, a central feature of most of our lives; and the Feynman diagram. This is a particle-antiparticle annihilation/production diagram – a symbol of continual re-birth from the awe-inspiring world of particle physics.  

  • Phil Bourne
    Posted at 23:55h, 23 January


    I sat in the car on the family journey to visit some friends and learnt the news.

    Anyhow, there are a few simple rules in life but my favourite is about ‘mind over matters’- do what you do with awesomeness and the right paths will follow!

  • Penny Rabiger
    Posted at 05:56h, 24 January

    Glad to see you strong, measured and positive – and present – as ever.
    Looking forward to seeing you blossom in your next chosen path.

  • Terminal Teacher
    Posted at 06:30h, 24 January

    Glad to see you’re still here, still reflecting! Like the “coat of arms” – for one minute thought you’d changed your name a la Prince!

  • Greg Ashman
    Posted at 06:33h, 24 January

    Hi Tom. All the best with your new venture. You make a valuable contribution and, for a while there, I was worried it would stop. Good to see you back.

  • B Flaherty
    Posted at 06:59h, 24 January

    Best of luck with the future. Teaching is no longer a secure career.

    Sent from my iPhone


  • MaryUYSEG
    Posted at 07:08h, 24 January

    Welcome back, Tom.

  • governingmatters
    Posted at 08:13h, 24 January

    Tom, so good to see you back. I loved your blogs and, as a governor, found many of them extremely useful. They made me think about our practices. All the best. You’ll continue to make a difference, of that I’m sure.

  • bocks1
    Posted at 08:21h, 24 January

    Happy days! Welcome back … take your time settling into it Tom – takes a wee bit of getting used to. All the very best sir!

  • Mike Hodgkiss. aka @teachtalks
    Posted at 08:54h, 24 January

    All the very best under your new name and ‘coat of arms’. Long may your interesting, inspiring, thought-provoking blogs continue.

  • teachwell
    Posted at 08:56h, 24 January

    I hope that you are ok and while this change in direction works out all the best for you.

  • Rosanna Raimato
    Posted at 10:07h, 24 January

    Glad you will continue to inspire and influence. All the very best!

  • Raj Unsworth
    Posted at 10:33h, 24 January

    Delighted you are back Tom. Look forward to meeting you at the HTRT Summit.

  • Sarah longshaw
    Posted at 11:03h, 24 January

    Glad to hear you are still around, have enjoyed and shared your ideas, particularly the science teaching ones! Encourage my nqts to read your book, we have a well-thumbed copy in the department. Good luck in your new venture.

  • AssemblyTube (@AssemblyTube)
    Posted at 14:04h, 24 January

    Best of luck with your future plans Tom.
    Now that you are released from the constraints of representing a school organisation, do you have any views on how the teaching profession can move out of the mess of being “done to”. Teachers are good at talking. The bit that we seem to be missing as a profession is turning ideas into action at a higher level than the individual classroom. The Head Teachers’ Round Table is a great concept, and has some great representatives, but how do we avoid it being just a talking shop?

  • Abigail Gray
    Posted at 14:37h, 24 January

    Hi Tom. I’m 3 years into life after a glorious and exacting headship myself and have spent those three years consulting, mentoring, training and writing about SEND. It’s been an amazing education. Again. Of course you will be massively in demand and I wish you well. For me took a while to get used to finishing sentences, having one conversation at a time and not having a PA!

  • David Cameron
    Posted at 15:54h, 24 January

    Having made the transition to consultancy a while back I would be happy to offer any help or advice that you don’t already have

  • Lesley Merriott
    Posted at 16:54h, 24 January

    Mr Sherrington I am genuinely pleased you are well and embarking on a new career but please would you explain why you left my child’s school so abruptly. We were suppose to be meeting you about her/his ongoing ‘problems’ and now you are not there anymore. Feel a little confused?

    • Tom Sherrington
      Posted at 16:09h, 25 January

      Hello, I’m not really in a position to say much. However I’ve alerted the school and hopefully they’ll contact you very soon. Best wishes. Tom Sherrington

  • gianella374
    Posted at 18:22h, 24 January

    Happy you are back. Look forward to the new posts!

  • Claire
    Posted at 19:30h, 24 January

    I have to say the very best of luck in your new adventures

  • Sally
    Posted at 20:42h, 24 January

    Glad to see you are still around. I very much appreciated your honesty in your blogs. Education needs people like you around, more than it probably realises! All the very best for the future…

  • annlitchfield
    Posted at 22:09h, 24 January

    You may not know this, but a few years ago, you saved my sanity and my career. You have inspired me, challenged me and made me wish I worked for you. I wish you all good things, this seems like a great opportunity for you, to turn this into something extraordinary. Good luck to you headguru – I’ll read your thoughts, as always, with interest and I know I’ll be learning and developing my own practice through your experiences.

  • Andrew Clay
    Posted at 22:10h, 24 January

    Will follow your path closely. I have used your work to great effect in moving my school forward. I hope this new venture delivers a successful career. Andrew Clay

  • madeupteacher
    Posted at 22:34h, 24 January

    Look forward to the next round of always interesting, sometimes challenging and highly informed blogs

  • Gemma
    Posted at 09:05h, 26 January

    Best wishes Tom. I find your blog and thoughts inspiring so look forward to more. Having worked with you in Indo, the guru tag was pretty apt. Onwards and upwards.

    • Tom Sherrington
      Posted at 09:18h, 26 January

      Thanks Gemma! Fond memories from Indonesia. x

  • Gunnersaurus Rex
    Posted at 10:57h, 28 January

    You took on a poisoned chalice. A school that wanted instant results without the financial health or culture to have any such expectations.

  • jillberry102
    Posted at 17:58h, 21 February

    Delighted you’re blogging again, Tom. And I can attest that life beyond headship can be rich and fulfilling….