From Police Officer to Educator

When I looked back at my personal journey from front line policing into the education sector, I discovered real-life insights into the many challenging aspects of a range of people’s lives. 

Within policing, I had the pleasure of helping people in potentially life changing environments and my experience in these situations would be over before I had time to reflect. As rewarding as this was, I also found it frustrating; I wanted to continue supporting these individual’s through these tough times in their lives. Although I was there at the start of an incident I was not around to support them through their journey and it was difficult to walk away not knowing how or where they would end up. 

I started to feel like something was missing in my life and pondered on how I could have the same excitement of helping people but also to be able to support them during the long and complicated journey, hopefully to resolution. At the time my wife was a Deputy Headteacher in a primary school and would often come home and talk about children and families she had come across. 

I was able to offer advice and support, not only as a police officer, but also as a husband. My wife would tell me how good I could be working in schools and supporting children and families. The more I thought about this, the more it excited me. I thought that this could be my chance to have a real impact on children and families for an extended period of time of their lives. I was, and still am, truly passionate about making a difference. 

At this time I was working on a Specialised Task Force Team. Our focus was tackling gang and youth crime, as well as child sexual exploitation. I could use all this experience and channel it into supporting these children who needed it the most. I knew that with all my training and experience from the police that I could really make a difference within a school and this is how my journey began in to the Education Sector.  

I started by writing a mission statement and sending this to some local schools. A number of schools showed an interest in what I had to say and could offer them. I took the opportunity to go and meet with some Headteachers and have a look around their schools. It was like buying a house, I knew straight away when I walked into my school that this was where I wanted to start my new adventure in to education. 

My school was on a journey and had a high level of vulnerable families. When I spoke with the headteacher they shared the same passion and ethos for children’s wellbeing. I was offered the role of Deputy Safeguarding Lead and after two years at my school I am now currently Assistant Head/Lead of Safeguarding and Wellbeing. My aim was never to become a teacher but to support teachers in doing all I can to make sure their children feel happy and safe and ready to learn. 

I have found since working within a school how much pressure is placed on Headteachers/Teachers to hit targets. The pressure of Ofsted and the government looking at test results, and the fact that they create snap judgements from these further increases this pressure. I feel that the danger behind this is that we start to lose sight of what is best for the child and we run the risk of doing what it takes to get the results. Children become a number and get lost in the system. 

I believe that wellbeing should be at the top of every schools agenda. If we can get the children in the right state of mind matched with good teaching, the results will come. I have worked with the teaching staff at my school on ’Knowing your children and knowing the community they come from’. There is always a reason for a child’s behaviour and the more you know a child and their dynamics the more you can adapt your teaching style and support this child. I feel this is a major impact in creating a happier child who feels safe and ready to learn. 

Children and young people today face a huge range of pressures from exam stress to cyber bullying, to finding a job when they finish education, and all the evidence seems to suggest that it’s getting worse. We have a duty to these children to act now. Wellbeing cannot exist just in your own head. Wellbeing is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment. Wellbeing should not be a policy or a procedure in school it should be a way of school life. This should be embedded into the school’s ethos and values. This includes the school’s curriculum. 

Wellbeing should not be a policy but a culture…

If this blog has inspired you to start a new career in education and make a difference to children and young people, then check out or current Safeguarding Officer opportunities available on Kent-Teach.

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