That’s right, I’m hiring myself out as a human-advertising board.

We, Torquay Academy, need a Head of Humanities (or HOLA*, as we call them here) for January 2017. Our excellent previous HOLA has moved across to a Head of Year position and so a vacancy has appeared. You’ll have to work with me, but don’t let that put you off! We have an ever-improving team, with new faces and an absolute determination to teach great History, Geography and Religious Studies.

The school is really something to behold. After the appointment of a new Principal a couple of years ago the school’s results have skyrocketed, the Ofsted grade has jumped to Good, and we’re even winning awards.  There’s a real emphasis on getting better, both in terms of the children’s success and teacher practice, with a focus on using Teach Like A Champion to help capture those really successful, but often small and ignored, parts of our teaching.

Here’s what the school’s website says about why you should work at TA:

Torquay Academy is an exciting and rewarding place to work. We expect our students to work very hard and all of our staff lead by example; a growth mindsets approach applies to everyone in our community!

We know that a world class school can only be built by having the very best teachers. A lot of time is spent ensuring we all improve – every teacher has two weekly coaching sessions: one in class and one analysing the lesson. One twilight each term focuses on T&L and we have biweekly TAPD (Torquay Academy Professional Development) sessions. We kick off the year with a Teaching and Learning Conference at the Grand Hotel. You will be working with colleagues who share a passion for teaching. We implement Teach Like a Champion strategies and take time practising them to ensure we are at our best when we “go live” in the classroom.

“Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.” Dylan Wiliam.

In 2015 Torquay Academy was one of the three most improved schools in the South West. Student progress in English and Maths far exceed national averages. We have been awarded the “Outstanding GCSE Results” by Pixl for our 2015 results. In spite of this success every member of staff at TA knows that we can do even better for our boys and girls in the future.

If you join TA you will be signing up to the belief that “everyone succeeds” and that “every student who joins TA is capable of going on to university”. If you join a school it is important you share its goals and values; Doug Lemov describes this as a strategic choice:

“the process of both teachers and school choosing each other explicitly based in part on shared mission and a set of core beliefs — is our work measurable? Does knowledge matter? How important is writing? How much orderliness is required? Do we care how classrooms are arranged? Do we care what books teachers choose to read? Do we care how they read them? When schools are explicit about these things, and seek likeminded teachers who want to be “good” by the same definition, the prime beneficiaries are often the teachers themselves”.

We care about all of these things. If you do as well please get in touch (you can do this even if we are not advertising as we maintain confidential lists so we can contact you when a job opportunity arises). I am always delighted to talk to colleagues who are interested in joining our community and signing up to our Vision.

Steve Margetts (Principal).

There’s even a video (where you might spot me**) of one of our T&L conferences here.

So, fancy it? If so then email Stella Morgan at or, if you’d like to know more, get in contact with me at or on Twitter at @MrHistoire.

*Head of Learning Area.

**Having just re-watched the video it turns out I’m all over it.