Making a positive difference to the lives and potential of young people is the mantra of Tina Evans, the new CEO of Salisbury Plain Academies (SPA).
“Since completing my teaching degree, I have been utterly enamoured with an educationalist’s ability to make a difference to the lives and potential of young people,” said the former head teacher.
Tina, who takes up her new role in August, has been working with the three primary schools in the trust for the past twelve months as the External Adviser for School Improvement.
“As I work with the schools already I am very much looking forward to continuing that journey with them. I have seen such a lot of progress within the last year; and a huge commitment from staff not only in their teaching but, in a determination to improve their leadership skills. I am looking forward to being part of the SPA success story,” she said.
Salisbury Plain Academies is made up of two primary schools; St Michael’s Figheldean, Bulford St Leonard’s and Durrington All Saints’ Infant school, and a secondary school with 6th Form, Avon Valley College.
Teaching wasn’t Tina’s first career choice, but once she started she was hooked. “I was keen to pursue journalism, but opportunities were limited. There were a lot of teachers in my family, and my father encouraged me to give teaching a try. I’ve never looked back or regretted that choice.”
That change of direction gave Tina, who lives in Salisbury, a varied career in education working as a primary school teacher, Key Stage leader, Deputy Head teacher and Head teacher in a variety of settings – both in the UK and overseas with military schools in Germany.
“I have been enthralled by education for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I have enjoyed two rewarding headships. My first from 2004 at Zouch Primary School in Tidworth; my second from 2008 at Downton Primary School near Salisbury, where we were proud to be awarded a judgement of Outstanding in the school’s Ofsted inspection.”
It was her links with the area that made Tina decide to apply for the CEO role. “I am committed to the children and families across Salisbury Plain. I have built up good relationships across a wide sector and having worked in Germany and Tidworth for many years, I understand the military context too.”
Although Tina is no longer teaching she says she still gets to know the children as she visits the schools regularly. “When you are a teacher you influence your class; as a leader I have a wider influence, and I believe I can still make a positive difference every day.”
Her aim for the schools in Salisbury Plain Academies is to make them irresistible. “I want our schools to become such exciting centres of learning and opportunity, that they are the natural first choice for parents, for teachers and for leaders.”
Tina strongly believes that being part of a multi academy trust (MAT) is a real benefit for the schools. “They can think collectively and benefit from support and challenge available locally. Each head teacher already has a clear vision about the differences they want to make in the next year. I am looking forward to supporting them while also building relationships with other schools. We are supporting each other to be the best that we can be - for children, families, communities and staff.”
When Tina isn’t working she enjoys spending time with her family, walking with her Cocker Spaniel, Badger, gardening and being by the sea.
“Time is limited for hobbies,” she admits. “But I am very excited about my new role and I truly believe that the future is bright for Salisbury Plain Academies.”
Retiring CEO Helen Mathieson said: ‘I’m delighted to welcome Tina Evans, she is a highly respected and admired educationalist, who is well known in Wiltshire for the excellence of her leadership and commitment to high standards. SPA is hugely committed to the children of Salisbury Plain and I know that Tina will enjoy, as I have enjoyed, the opportunity to work with such dedicated professionals.”