Julie Norman - Executive Primary Lead at Quantock Education Trust & MD of School Omega Solutions.
This week I had the privilege of talking to Julie Norman - At age 14 I had already been fixed term excluded some 100 times. My year leader felt it was time for a chat "You really are breathing valuable oxygen someone useful could be using' she said. Well, I knew she did not like me, but this was a whole new level for our relationship! She said I would amount to nothing. So, my mind was made up...I would not return to such a toxic place.
I lived with a violent step dad and an oblivious mother so not going to school for 2 years, going nightclubbing and sleeping in the field up the road went unnoticed!
I met the man of my dreams at 15 - an abusive drug addict and alcoholic. It was a slight improvement on my situation. I stayed with him for 11 years and had 2 children. When he attacked my 4 year old it was time to leave. I ran...I hid.... for 8 years.
In that time, I decided I would become the person I was meant to be: ambitious, kind, nurturing and happy. I had a child with M.E. and one with Autism, but life was amazing. I studied GCSEs, A Levels, Degree, PGCE, NPQH and NPQEL. I am now an Executive Headteacher after spending 20yr practicing everything I wanted...a teacher who cares.
If only my teacher had asked 'are you ok?' Maybe I would have met my potential earlier.
Never assume, just ask.
The work Julie is doing to ensure every child achieves their potential and enjoys the education is empowering and with the combination of work with the Quantock Education Trust and School Omega Solutions www.schoolomegasolutions.co.uk, I believe she is an incredible human being.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.