How to be an outstanding school and… an outstanding Headmaster?

Escrito el 12 septiembre 2013 por Elena Méndez Díaz-Villabella en Varios


I have been working for nearly one and a half years between London and Madrid. I moved to London with my family and my son, Alberto had the fantastic opportunity of studying at Chipstead Valley Primary School (CVPS). This School has been rated as “Outstanding” after the Ofsted inspection carried out by the UK government. This is the highest possible grade and is only obtained by a small number of schools.

IE Business School is one of the world´s top Business Schools. Our students are postgraduates and executives, and we are all well aware that primary education sets the foundations for the entire education system. So today, during this brief interview I want to gather the opinions and educational views of Headteacher Mr. Mark Rosewell who, along with his team, has lead the way for CVPS to become an Outstanding Primary School.

1)    What do you think are the hallmarks of your school? 

Hopefully the following:

  • Everyone feels valued and follows our ‘be the best you can be’ motto (not a unique phrase, but a powerful one which works for both children and adults).
  • A superb learning environment (inside and out).
  • High quality teaching.
  • “Never rest on our laurels”.

2)   What three words would you choose to define your style of management and why?

Honest, open and decisive…I was asked this question at interview thirteen years ago. I gave these three words by way of answer and have seen no reason to change them since. Honest because it helps to engender trust across the school community. Open because this allows all to contribute and to understand reasons for decisions and decisive because it gets things done!

3)   In your opinion, what makes a “good teacher”?

Enthusiasm, a willingness to learn and an ability to inspire. Someone who treats the children with firmness (children need boundaries), fairness (children are always very aware of being treated fairly), warmth (they need to know you care) and kindness (because we care).

4)    How would you define a “good student”?

I wouldn’t. All children regardless of talent, behavior, need or background, are special.

5)    What is a Headteacher’s most important role?

For adults…To create a shared vision and then provide the strategic direction for the path we need to take, ensuring that we are not deflected from our goals, and also to inspire.

For children…To care about each and every child

6)    What do you find the hardest aspect of being a Primary School Director?

A few parents who are all too aware of their rights…but not of their responsibilities.

7)    Would you tell us a story that happened to you as Headteacher and still makes you smile?

There are too many to mention. Children make you smile in one way or another everyday, sometimes even when you are telling them off. They take absolutely no notice of your mood, cheerfully adding to your problems on a bad day and making good days even better.

8) What are you most proud of (within your current role)?

Firstly the children. They are remarkable young people. Secondly the staff, who work so hard to help the children be the best they can be. Thirdly, our learning environment. We have worked so hard to provide the children with exceptional facilities. Receiving the ‘outstanding’ grade was also great because it recognises our efforts.

9) What is the most important thing you have learned during your career as a Primary School Headteacher?

To build an effective leadership team, where each member may have different but complementary strengths, but all share the same goals.

10) What legacy would you like to leave behind one day?

That I made a difference to the lives of the young children in our care.


Thank you Mr. Rosewell, and all your team too, for our “outstanding” experience at Chipstead Valley Primary School!


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Solo hay que leer los 2 primeros párrafos de la entrevista para darse cuenta de que la escuela está en buenas manos con un director que tiene tan claros todos los aspectos educacionales.

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