WomenEd Blogs

It isn’t the time

By Claire Harley @clairevh How do you find the time? Something you've probably said to yourself about three times already this week. As an assistant principal, mum and EdD candidate I get where you're coming from. The past two months, however, have helped me to re-evaluate what time really means and have helped me find perspective in a way I wasn't...

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Being 10% Braver: #IAmWriting.

by Vivienne Porritt @ViviennePorritt

We started WomenEd because women's voices on twitter were often silenced, harrassed or our views were not valued. It's one of the reasons we included a mic in our logo. So we encouraged women to tweet and to write blogs to tell our stories and share our lived experience. 

One of the reasons we wrote 10%braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education was to ensure the voices of our community reached women who are not on twitter. And over 30 voices are included in Being 10% Braver which, joyously, is published this December - you can pre-order and it's a great Christmas present! And we are delighted to share more opportunities for our community to write and to be heard.

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Tend and befriend. #SeatAtTheTable

by Vi Gandhi @V1Gandhi Earlier this month, I reached out and found #WomenEd, a global grassroots movement of women leaders in education.  When I read about how the organisation started and spoke with founding member, Vivienne Porritt, I noticed that although they were not aware of the science behind it, they knew the benefits of seeing stress ...

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I wanted both: to be a mother and to have my dream job

by Abby Bayford @Abby­_BayfordIn March 2022, my life changed in the most wonderful way. After years of infertility, I had a successful round of IVF and found out I was pregnant. I had yearned for this for many years and my mind became preoccupied with thoughts about the wonderful surprises ahead. The surprise I hadn't considered, however, was the f...

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Choose to Challenge - #IWD2021

 by Anna Ambrose  @AnnaAmbrose

On Friday 6th March, 2021, I noticed a thing on my Facebook feed. It was the last day (for now at least, fingers crossed) of home-schooling for families in England. And men were busy thanking their amazing wives* for home-schooling their children. There were gifts. Flowers. Champagne. The works. How lovely.

[*Obviously not everyone is married. But these posts were genuinely all about wives, so I may over-use the word in what follows.]

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‘Concentrate on Being a Mum’

by Jo Pellereau @PhysicsJo

I am blessed to have two wonderful children, both the result of gruelling IVF procedures and following pregnancies dotted with the stress of hyperemesis, blood loss and a bout of post natal depression following the birth of my second child. The impact on my wellbeing and the toll it took at work is my primary motivation for undertaking a PhD in Education looking at fertility issues and how schools handle them.

Despite these challenges, at no point in the past almost 4 years have I considered my career to be over or even paused. It has taken a different direction than I thought, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have importance to me or to my sense of identity. In fact in many ways my commitment to education has been increased by my new identity as a mother.

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My Unconference

By Kaley Riley @MrsRileyEng

It’s the Monday in the week before #WomenEd, and already I am beginning to question whether I should really be giving up a precious Saturday with my daughter and husband (who works every other weekend). The guilt is already setting in. I’m feeling run down; I could really do with the whole weekend not doing much; it’s my Nana’s birthday and I really shouldn’t be going out and not seeing her (even though she 100% already has plans); I won’t get back until just before bedtime…

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Follow the empathy road: #BrewEd Herts

by Ginny Bootman @sencogirl (Senior Leader & SENCO)

I set off with some trepidation as I left the sunny climes of Northamptonshire to be part of my first #BrewEdHerts event. I was a lone wolf taking it on alone.

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The courage in encourage

by Emma Turner @Emma_Turner75

As people and teachers, we all need encouragement. We need encouragement to rise out of comfy beds, to start our days, to take those first steps or to take on new challenges. We need encouragement to keep on going when things aren’t progressing as smoothly as we’d like or might have anticipated and we need encouragement to believe in ourselves and our decisions.

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Know we are enough

by Julie Ricketts @DOpsSBL (ISBL Fellow)

The beginning of October saw my three-year anniversary working as a School Business Leader – an anniversary I never thought would arrive. Not because I don’t love what I do, but more that I had made a decision some years ago that my school-based career days were over, and it was time to try something new.

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The dreaded letter

by Anonymous

The dreaded letter…. Turning twenty five was a big deal for me. I mean, I was turning a quarter of a century old. But along with gifts from family and friends, turning twenty five brings another little present for women up and down the country. The dreaded letter.

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'But don't you miss her, Miss?'

by Kaley Louise @MrsRileyEng

Since returning to work, from maternity leave, I have been asked- numerous times- ‘How do you do it?’, ‘Don’t you miss her?’, ‘Are you afraid you’ll miss out on something precious?’ and questions of their kin, numerous times. But always by adults.  Until today.

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by Jill Berry @JillBerry102

On Sunday 12th January 2020, the wonderful Caroline Spalding led an #SLTchat discussion on the subject of Motivation, and this made me thoughtful. I’ve mentioned motivation in a number of blog posts, but have never written a post specifically focussed on the subject. Until today.

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Interviews: Grill them, grilling you.

by Kaley Riley @MrsRileyEnglish

On Friday, I attended an interview. On arrival, the other candidates and I got chatting. We all spoke about our current roles, why we had applied and the usual, tense pre-interview small talk amongst competitors who are- essentially- trying to scope one another out. I mentioned, as part of this small talk, that I had applied a year ago for the same school, and a similar role, but was unsuccessful. I could see their surprise. 

‘Oh really? Why were you not appointed?’  ‘It is very brave to apply again after getting knocked back!’

They were right. It was brave, but it was also telling of my commitment to wanting the role (albeit, this time around, much more senior), my resilience and of my sheer dogged determination.

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The reality of being a woman serving headteacher in the UK

By Jill Berry @JillBerry102

On Saturday 12th September 2020, #WomenEd ran a webinar on the subject of what it is currently like to be a woman serving head in this country. The webinar was ably hosted by the wonderful Keziah Featherstone (@keziah70) and featured eleven practising school leaders:

Nav Sanghara (@NavSanghara), Caroline Derbyshire (@Morsecat), Helena Marsh (@HelenaMarsh81), Binks Neate-Evans (@BinksNeateEvans), Helen Keenan (@hbkeenan), Christalla Jamil @ChristallaJ), Allana Gay (@AllanaG13), Caroline Barlow (@BarlowCaroline), Mareme Mufwoko (@MMufwoko), Ruth Whymark (@ruth_whymark) and Claire Price (@ClairePrice1). It was a superb event.

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