Over the next few weeks we will be sharing what it is like to work at Beanfield Primary School from some of our staff.
DONNA MARTIN – OPERATIONS LEAD, BEANFIELD PRIMARY SCHOOL
Donna Martin has worked at Beanfield Primary School for 8 years and in that time has become an indispensable member of the team. We caught up with her to find out what she loves about her Operations Lead role and the school itself…
What does your role as Operations Lead involve?
My role is about ensuring that the school has the right structures and processes in place to provide a great education, so I deal with everything from HR, to Health & Safety to business support. I also sit on the senior leadership team. Typically, if it doesn’t relate directly to in-classroom support, then I’m involved.
Tell us how it all started…
After graduating from University with a degree in Marketing and Advertising Management I came to Beanfield on a temporary contract as PA to the former Principal (Leyton Smith). It was only supposed to be until Christmas, but 8 years later, I’m still here!
How did Beanfield and Brooke Weston Trust support your development?
From the outset, I was interested in HR and Recruitment, so within my second year of employment, the school paid for me complete my CIPD Level 3 and HR qualifications. Over the years, I’ve developed in my role, becoming a senior administrator and when I expressed an interest in governance, the trust funded me to do my NGA clerking qualification. I now clerk for 3 of the primary schools within the trust.
If you're interested in developing an aspect of your career, and you're willing to drive the conversation with your line manager, then the school and the Trust will always endeavour to support you. Even if it means releasing you from work or providing the funding.
What is it like working at beanfield?
Well, I’m biased, but honestly, it’s a really special place to work. There is such a strong community ethos here, with a real commitment to supporting our families and colleagues. Every role is valued and the children are at the heart of everything we do.
Any school events coming up that you’re excited about?
I’ve been involved in supporting the after-school ‘Glee Club’ for a few years now, and it’s such a special thing to be part of. I’m really excited about taking the club back to do ‘Young Voices’ after a 2-year Covid break. We're going to Birmingham on the 13th January 2023 to perform with 6,000 other students from all across the UK. It's always such a great experience for the children and staff involved.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love acquiring new skills, so I’ve recently completed my Level 2 qualification in British Sign Language. I’m also in the middle of moving house, so my life is very busy – which is how I like it!
How does being part of Brooke Weston Trust benefit the school?
Being part of the Trust gives us a lot of opportunities to collaborate. I'm currently supporting another primary school within the trust as part of my HR role. I've also supported other schools with statutory data returns. I sit on the school ‘business professionals’ group and the HR group. The trust wants to hear about the challenges faced by individual schools, so these forums are a great place to come together and ensure that we’re heard.
Have you been celebrating the recent Ofsted ‘Good’ result?
Yes! It has really boosted morale after what felt like a long wait for the inspection! Everyone's been on a high and we’re mindful that the result is down to the whole team pulling together… an entire machine working relentlessly! Every member of staff here (no matter what level they are at) goes above and beyond to make it a great place to learn. We make a point of recognising the contributions of everyone.
Who are you particularly grateful to for supporting your career journey to date?
At a Trust level, Kat Pithey (Head of People) and Leyton Smith (Primary Executive Principal) have been great supporters, always seeing the potential in me and giving me opportunities to grow and develop. At a school level, Sam Eathorne has been a constant champion of mine. She’s always there for me and is a great sounding board. Finally, the former business manager, Diana Loveday, who is still based within the Trust, but now based at Corby Business Academy. She encouraged me to step into her shoes, giving me the belief that I could do it. Encouragement is so important in personal development and it’s something we do really well here.
Thank you Donna!