Story/Interview May 11, 2022

King’s InterHigh coordinator Leanne Deans recognised for empowering teachers

By King's InterHigh

Leanne Deans is King’s InterHigh’s outstanding learning and development coordinator. Since joining the school in 2017, she has worked tirelessly to ensure staff have the training opportunities they need to thrive, and all students have access to smoothly run, high quality education so they can achieve their goals, no matter where they’re based around the world. We asked Leanne to explain how her role changed over the pandemic, how King’s InterHigh consequently evolved and what her vision is for the future.

What is your role with King’s InterHigh and how does your role interact with the wider school?
I am a trainer and business professional. A large part of my role involves working with staff across King’s InterHigh, including teachers, those in the business support team, and more, to ensure everyone is working harmoniously and efficiently. This helps us ensure our customers receive the highest quality service and students gain the best education possible and their courses run smoothly.
What does it mean to you to be part of the Inspired community?
I am proud to be part of one of the world’s largest and most innovative education groups. Since joining Inspired, I’ve been able to work with people who are passionate and dedicated to providing amazing educational opportunities and prioritising the best experience for students. We also work closely with other Inspired schools and education providers, including Academy21, ensuring the right education model is provided to suit students’ needs. This way, we help ensure no student is forgotten or left behind.
What advice would you give to other learning and development professionals wanting to excel?
By their very nature, schools are constantly changing environments, in which all staff are presented with new experiences and opportunities daily! Make sure you jump at the chance to work with employees from different career backgrounds and walks of life so you can get the very best out of staff and provide the best experience for students. I also recommend really listening to staff and remaining eager to learn. This will help you support the development of others while you grow and develop personally, too.
Have you faced challenges over the past year and if so, how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I faced was becoming the only learning and development coordinator at King’s InterHigh. This was daunting to begin with, as I was used to leaning on my team. However, this change encouraged me to work far more collaboratively with many different faculties and departments, which enabled me to build stronger working relationships across the school. As I am an extrovert and enjoy helping people, I’ve found this transition really rewarding. These personal traits have helped me to overcome and adjust to the challenges with the new role. I am more confident in my ability to guide individuals to success.
What are your tips for supporting staff through difficult times?
No matter the challenge, good communication is key to ensuring employees feel valued, listened too, supported, and inspired. Kings InterHigh use many tactics to achieve this. For example, throughout the pandemic we have held regular town hall meetings and department team meetings. We encourage staff to stay connected, reach out to one another and build on our sense of community. This has helped us overcome the challenges we faced during the pandemic, ensuring our students never suffered as a result.
What is the best part of working in education and learning development?
I love supporting staff. I particularly enjoyed supporting our teachers through their Teaching Online Qualification, which is organised by King’s InterHigh. It was such a privilege to work with our teachers and observe them inspire, engage, and motivate the students in the online environment! Being a small part of their professional development and being able to guide them to success was really rewarding, as I know how much it impacts our students and the education they receive.
What is your vision for the future of learning development?
Learning and development plays an essential role within any organisation. We focus on providing job-related training to help employees develop and achieve their full potential. This of course trickles down to students, in terms of the education they receive and opportunities they’re exposed to. At King’s InterHigh, we have a team of passionate and talented people working tirelessly to support, motivate and inspire students. I aim to continue to support staff to develop and train, so they can reach their goals. In terms of the future of education, I can only see learning and development being an increasing priority across all schools. In its recent Schools White Paper, the government stated its commitment to professional development, while acknowledging its ability to produce a world-class education sector. I completely agree with this and am excited for more schools to join King’s InterHigh in embracing and investing in training opportunities for educators.
What is your motivation?
I am lucky enough to work with many dedicated and talented people who all aim to help and support each other and their students. Their potential inspires and motivates me every day! The more I interact with my colleagues from different career backgrounds, the more creative I can be when tailoring their training options so they gain the skills they need to thrive. Having the opportunity to empower others to achieve their goals and seeing their subsequent success is so rewarding and motivation in itself!

Here’s what Leanne Deans, King’s InterHigh’s outstanding learning and development coordinator, had to say about her role, our school, and the future.

By King's InterHigh

King’s InterHigh is an independent British international online school. Offering Primary, Secondary and Sixth Form education, we cater to students from age 7 – 18 who are looking for a high quality British education delivered in a way that revolves around their lifestyle.