Joe Westwood

Assistant Principal, Jubilee Academy

As a former pupil of Jubilee Academy (then Mossley Primary School), I am extremely proud of my own career Journey. I started as a parent helper in 2000, when my daughters were in Early Years. I used to listen to reading and support in lessons.  

After 12 years in accounting I realised that it was not my true calling. I enrolled on a level 3 course for teaching assistants and became a SEND teaching assistant in 2002. From that point I did not look back! 

I became a TA in the Yr6 class in 2003 and went on to complete my higher-level teaching assistant qualification (HLTA), when began to take whole classes. This allowed me to have an excellent insight into what it would be like to be a teacher. September 2003 saw me enrol onto the Foundation Degree for Teaching Assistants with Staffordshire University, which I completed in 2006, enrolling immediately on to top up to my honours degree. From 2006, I became an unqualified teacher, which enabled me to also enrol on my teacher training through the registered teacher programme with Newman University. I completed my training as teacher of Year 6 and qualified in May 2008.  

As a result of this, I was then taken on as a permanent teacher at Mossley, a dream come true!  

I did not stop there. I was completely bitten by the teaching bug and wanted to give something back to others, so I immediately enrolled on a post—graduate reflective practice course and mentoring course with Wolverhampton University. This gave me a post-graduate certificate in Enhancing Learning. This has enabled me to effectively support student teachers and NQTs within our setting.  

As lead 1:1 tutor, History and MFL lead, I knew that SEND was where my passions lay. I enrolled on the Specialist Teacher with AMBDA qualification with Edge Hill University and successfully qualified in 2013. As a result of my specialist qualification, I was asked to take on the SENCO role and promoted to the Senior Leadership Team within the Academy that same year, with responsibility of KS2 added to the role. In February 2017, I applied for and was successful in gaining the post of assistant principal and in the summer of that year had designated safeguarding lead also added to my role.  

In order to further support our teaching assistants who were successfully taking part in various NVQs, I completed my CACHE assessors’ course and this meant that I was able to support a significant number of TAs in achieving their qualifications. This was done through ATTFE and was a valuable experience. It means that I am able to support apprentices, understanding the route they are taking and what support is needed. Not stopping there, I went on to complete the NPQH in February 2022.  

I am still assistant principal at Jubilee and part of an exciting cohort of leaders who are completing their own national professional qualifications and continue to be as enthused about our Academy as I was when I was a pupil.  

My Jubilee journey has been unique, but completely worthwhile. The support for further development has enabled me to continue to grow as a leader and support others with their aspirations too.