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October 15th 2020

60 seconds with Ms Day, Head of Futures

What is your job title?

Head of Futures (and Teacher of Drama!)

Tell us about yourself

Head of Futures sounds rather grand but it reflects the way in which careers guidance has evolved over the last few years. My job spec has a broad remit, which is one of the reasons I really enjoy what I do. I’ve been able to grow the role since becoming what was originally Head of Careers in 2018

What does your job involve?

That’s a great question! My role takes me into all sorts of areas: academic, pastoral, in a way, change management. There’s a lot of listening, collaborative working and creativity. I suppose event management would feature quite heavily in my planning. It’s really all about making sure our students are well-informed, supported and have unrivalled access to careers-related opportunities. There’s also an important emphasis on students taking individual responsibility for logging and curating their own skills and experiences via Unifrog, a personal development online platform for students.

How long have you worked here?

I’ve been at Blackheath High School since January 2017.

Tell us about your career path.

Although I trained as a teacher, I’ve always been interested in other career routes. For example, when I was teaching in Manchester, I also did a stint on a newspaper as I was pondering a move into journalism. For a time I also considered a career as a copywriter. However, I couldn’t shake off my love of theatre and eventually went to RADA and haven’t looked back. As well as teaching Drama, Music and English I’ve worked for LAMDA in the examinations department where I wrote a Level 2 (GCSE standard) qualification in speaking and listening skills. This was a huge undertaking but I was very proud of the product created; I got to work with many different schools, their students and teachers and I could see the difference it made to the students’ abilities and confidence. In many ways, this informed my move into business; in 2017 I set up a communications-skills company, Huggins & Day, which I run alongside my teaching commitments. We’ve worked with some really interesting companies such as Time Out, Fortnum and Mason, Nine Feet Tall and Grace Blue (amongst others) and I’ve continued to learn from every workshop I’ve devised and run.

What do you like most about your job?

I get the opportunity to create new and engaging events and really put my mark on the school. For example, I set up our first ever Women In Leadership event in 2018 at BHS where we hosted a range of inspiring women who spoke to our students and visiting students. Also, the Wollstonecraft Speaker Series enables me to meet people and introduce them to the students. Every talk is different and you just never know who will be inspired and/or motivated by what they are hearing. Impact is impossible to measure of course but I’d like to think that our speakers are seeding ideas about careers, concepts and ways of thinking – perhaps challenging perceptions and viewpoints in a critical way -  which will stay with our students forever.

What makes working here at Blackheath High School so rewarding and enjoyable?

Every day is different and a student will always say something that surprises you, gets you thinking. My Year 13 Drama group educated me the other day about social media culture; there was so much I didn’t know that I realised that I am not officially middle-aged but well on the way to becoming a grumpy old woman!

What has been your biggest challenge at Blackheath High School?

It’s a cliché, but time management. There really aren’t enough hours in the day!

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

When I get it, it’s probably catching up on the latest seasons of South Park on Netflix.

Tell us something surprising about yourself

In 2015 I wrote the book, music & lyrics for a satirical musical ‘UKIP! The Musical’ which won an award from The Stage and sold out at the Edinburgh Festival run before coming to London. ‘Brexit at Tiffany’s’ was the follow-up.


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