Bev Brazier

Assistant Principal, Pool Hayes Academy

I went into teaching at age 26 and by 31 I was the proud mother of two amazing children. So, with my teaching career in its infancy, I had already taken two periods of maternity leave and was working part time as an MFL teacher. I saw other women who I really respected in middle leadership and SLT roles and wondered how they had managed to achieve this. How was it possible to be a good mother and a good middle or senior leader?  

I threw everything I had into being the mum I wanted to be and the best (part time) classroom teacher I could be. Juggling these two roles and trying to be ‘supermum’ as well as ‘superteacher’ was perhaps the most challenging part of my adult life so far. I’m so grateful for supportive line managers and my fantastic family who were always on hand to help.  

When my children were 7 and 5 I was encouraged to apply for the Head of MFL position that had arisen at my school. Having worked part time for a number of years as a main scale teacher, I was apprehensive about approaching middle leadership for the first time and had a case of imposter syndrome. I’ll be forever grateful to the SLT member who was so supportive and encouraging to me at this point. He believed in me more than I did, and his words of encouragement and his support really empowered me. I will be sure to reach out and thank him for this!  

Fast forward another 10 years and I am now the very proud mother of two fantastic teenagers and am an Assistant Principal. I am proud to be a woman in senior leadership and to be a role model to young people.  

My personal and professional lives have both changed considerably, but what remains is how very inspired I continue to be by the women around me.  

  • Women who are cheerleaders and endless sources of encouragement for each other.  
  • Women who are going through tough times in their personal lives.  
  • Women who have been up in the night with a teething baby or vomiting child. 
  • Women who have recently suffered a loss, who are supporting their children with additional needs, who care for their elderly parents.  

I recognise and am grateful for the amazing job that women in education are doing day in and day out, working hard to ensure the very best provision for our young people and greeting our learners with positivity, whatever may be going on in their own personal lives. This International Women’s Day I would love to thank EVERYONE who empowers and supports women to keep smashing through those glass ceilings.