Rob Thomas

Location: Greenwich, London



Professional Profile

A highly experienced and performance-driven educational leader with a clear sense of moral purpose and a life-long commitment to the development of others. Displays a passion for working with young people and providing them with the opportunities they require to achieve success in all areas of their lives. Possesses a deep understanding of the changing face of education and has considerable expertise in innovative curriculum design, enabling students to become confident, both as independent decision-makers and as team players, and gain the skills they will require for employment in the 21st century. Now taking on interesting interim leadership roles which will make best use of the skills he has gained both as a successful headteacher, in a large urban comprehensive, and in a wide variety of interim leadership roles. Specialising in creating high performing leadership teams, in succession planning for school leadership and in providing on-going support to newly appointed heads.

Significant Achievements 

  • Led Feltham Young Offenders Institution during a period of transition and instability including a complete revision of the leadership structure and re-energising of the staff team.
  • Worked with the governing body at Park View School to sustain the school’s trajectory towards Outstanding during their recruitment of a new headteacher. Supporting and coaching the headteacher designate during Summer 2014 and providing continued support during his first two terms.
  • Enabled Park View to achieve the best results in its history (53% %ACEM- 2% below National average in 2014) by introducing a highly effective Raising Attainment Plan (RAP).
  • Enabled Park View to increase its 2014 Best 8 Value Added scores to 1024 (18 percentile) from 1009 (33 percentile) in 2013.
  • Provided stability but ensuring aspirational goals were achieved during a period of transition at St Mark’s C of E Academy, Merton.
  • Successfully provided interim leadership at Bow School, Tower Hamlets during the headteacher’s planned absence including securing a successful outcome during an Ofsted section 5 inspection.
  • Specialising in working with leadership teams to ensure they are high-performing, effective and reflective.
  • Coaching newly appointed headteachers and providing back-end support during their initial period of headship.
  • Pioneered a creative approach to learning, including the development of cutting edge technologies to support learning and development programmes. This resulted in Thomas Tallis School receiving School of Creativity status in 2007, one of only 30 schools in the country to be awarded by Creative Partnerships, and also achieving an Ofsted Outstanding grading in 2008, for innovative work in developing a creative approach to learning.
  • Implemented highly effective performance management and self evaluation assessments, linked with development planning and training to drive whole school improvement. Additionally, developed and maintained links with many external organisations dedicated to supporting the development of young people.
  • Introduced inspirational and innovative teaching practices, which have greatly improved student engagement, empowered the student voice, and enabled students to work collaboratively with staff, and play an active part in the development of learning.
  • Designed a unique and highly engaging curriculum, tailor-made to improve individual student learning needs and offering a wide range of subjects, including a faculty of Well-Being, which gained recognition by the DfE for providing an excellent approach to students’ all-round development.
  • Successfully led a substantial BSF (Building Schools for the Future) project to design and build a new purpose built school for 1950 students. Managed a substantial budget of £47m, ensuring the efficient control of all costs and expenditure. Provided leadership to the project management team consisting of architects and contractors from John McAslan + partners and Balfour Beatty, and established a committee, involving students and staff, to provide design input.

Employment History

Interim Head of Education                                                                                                                        August 2014- Dec 2014

Feltham Young Offenders Institution

  • Supporting the education provider, CfBT, in its efforts to improve the life chances of the young people in Feltham.
  • Providing interim leadership whilst the Institution released the substantive Head of Education to gain experience in a mainstream setting.
  • Working with the leadership team to develop them as a high-performing team.

Interim Headteacher                                                                                                                                   Jan 2014- July 2014

Park View, Haringey

  • Providing interim leadership whilst the school recruited a substantive headteacher.
  • Working with the SLT to develop them as a high-performing team.
  • Leading the school on its current journey from Good to Outstanding.
  • Maintaining the pace of change and development in an improving school.
  • Coaching the headteacher designate in preparation for his start in Autumn 2014 and providing on-going coaching during the following two terms.

Interim Principal                                                                                                                                            July 2013- Dec 2013

St Mark’s Church of England Academy, Merton

  • Providing interim leadership during the period between the current principal leaving and the principal designate returning from maternity leave.
  • Leading the school on its current journey from Good to Outstanding.
  • Developing the school as an outward-facing, research driven community hub.

Director of Curriculum and London Regional Director                                                                    2012- Present

The iPad Academy

  • Providing training and support for schools in using hand-held technologies as innovative tools for learning.

Interim Headteacher                                                                                                                                   Feb 2013- April 2013

Bow School, Tower Hamlets

  • Providing interim leadership during a planned absence by the current headteacher.
  • Leading the school successfully through an Ofsted inspection (March 2013) and achieving a Good outcome.
  • Maintaining the pace of change and development in an improving school.

Education Consultant                                                                                                                                   2012- Present

Dysky Education Solutions, London

  • Carrying out reviews of teaching and learning, and leadership capacity to support Ofsted preparation.
  • Providing bespoke CPD packages to support whole school or targeted development.

Headteacher                                                                                                                                                      2002-2011 (August)

Thomas Tallis School, Greenwich (NOR: 1700 8 form entry)

  • Led a highly inclusive school, with two designated specialist provisions and a large SEN faculty, setting aspirational targets for all the students.
  • Re-organised the Senior Leadership team to create an effective line management structure dedicated to raising aspirations for all students.
  • Managed complex and multiple work streams, and implemented effective forward planning strategies to achieve deadlines.
  • Led highly successful recruitment campaigns with defined roles and responsibilities, which resulted in low staff turnover and a consistently high concentration of filled vacancies.
  • Managed a budget in excess of £10 million, implemented a 3 year budget planning strategy and worked extensively with the local authority regarding income streams.

Student & Staff Engagement Initiatives

  • Implemented a collaborative, whole school approach to raising achievement, which enabled students in 2011 to achieve the best GCSE results in the school’s history – 63% 5A*- C passes (including English and mathematics) compared with 50% in 2010.
  • Instigated and coordinated the whole school off-site CPD conferences, designed to motivate staff and develop teamwork.
  • Conducted annual and interim appraisals in accordance with the school development plan, and monitored performance levels using attainment and progression data to address under-performance.
  • Provided strong leadership and raised teaching standards across the school by devising and delivering inspirational programmes to leadership teams.
  • Led problem solving groups to analyse problems and formulate effective strategies to bring about solutions.
  • Engaged the whole school community in the process of developing a shared vision with students as the focal point.
  • Created and refined a system of consultation, which allowed staff and students to research ways to improve the school as a centre of excellence for learning and teaching.
  • Led the Anti-Bullying initiative for Greenwich, a project which was run entirely by Year 11 Peer mentors from Thomas Tallis in 2011.
  • Worked alongside Professor Tim Brighouse and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to champion the benefits of learning experiences outside of the classroom. 

Early Career Summary

Deputy Headteacher Kidbrooke School, Greenwich, NOR: 1600 8 form entry 1998 – 2002
Head of House Crown Woods School, Greenwich, NOR: 2100 13 form entry 1993 – 1998
Head of Year Eltham Green School, Greenwich, NOR: 2300 13 form entry 1988 – 1992
Deputy Head of Year Eltham Green School, Greenwich 1985 – 1988
Teacher of Chemistry Eltham Green School, Greenwich 1982 – 1985
Youth worker and Teacher in Charge Greenwich Youth Service 1983 – 1993 

Professional Qualifications

PGCE                                         Goldsmiths’ College, London 1981-82

B.Sc Hons Chem 2.1               Imperial College, London 1977-80

Professional Training & Development

  • Ofsted New Inspector training- Feb/March 2013
  • Personal Coaching with Mango CLC – April 2010 to present
  • PiXL member (Partners in Excellence) – Half-termly meetings
  • Independent and State School Partnership, executive member – Half termly meetings
  • Royal Opera House, Education, Engagement and Access committee member – Half termly meetings
  • Safer Recruitment training provided by NCSL – December 2010