Headteacher Profile: Candida Hutchinson Takes on New Role
Having spent ten years at Drove Primary School as a Year 2 teacher and SENCO, Candida took up the post of assistant head at Drove and Interim deputy head at Mountford Manor in 2012. In recognition of her achievements and commitment, Candida was earmarked as the prime candidate to take charge of The White Horse Federation’s sponsored academy, The Croft Primary School.
Upon the school achieving an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating in 2014, Candida was made principal at The Croft. Since 2014, Candida has continued to progress, moving onto secondment to St Mary & All Saints Primary School, and then subsequently being named assistant director for primary education within the school improvement team at The White Horse Federation.
In September 2020, Candida took up the position of Headteacher at both St. George’s Semington and Seend. Following an internal review and leadership restructure, it was recently announced that Candida would also take on the role of Headteacher at St. Mary’s Broughton Gifford from September 2021. She will be supported at all three schools by an Assistant Principal to ensure the smooth running of all three schools.
In response to the latest announcement, we spoke to Candida about her aspirations for the future.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
I am very excited about the new role and there are many things I am looking forward to. However, I am particularly looking forward to joining the St.Mary’s community, who have had a really challenging year coping with the various Lockdowns and associated challenges of supporting children and staff alike to continue to access an enriched learning experience.
You've been with The White Horse Federation for a number of years now. What have been your greatest achievements to date?
I cannot believe it’s been nearly twenty years since I joined Drove Primary School, later part of The White Horse Federation family. I’ve had a fantastic experience and have been in the fortunate position to work in a number of schools, leading many successful teams to work together to achieve great Ofsted results and improve the outcomes of our children. For me, one of my biggest achievements was the opening of The Croft and playing a key role in developing its ethos and culture.
During your time at the TWHF, how have you been supported as a leader, particularly most recently with the added challenges associated with managing across multiple sites?
I have always been supported by The White Horse Federation - especially Dr Nick Capstick - with my continuing professional development and allowing me to balance my family and work life. This also included support as a working mum, and when we had our youngest daughter 17 years ago, Dr Capstick supported me in taking a step back from leadership for a year. Over the years, I have also hugely benefited from the support I have received from the other Principals and Regional Director, Simon Cowley, which has been invaluable.
In my current role, the support I have received from both school teams, especially the school leadership team, has been second to none. And that’s not all. Throughout the Pandemic, the Central Services team has helped ensure I can prioritise the safety of our children and allow me to focus on the needs of both school sets of children, staff, and parents.
How will you guarantee a smooth transition to ensure children, staff, and parents are not impacted by the change?
Over the coming months, I will be working alongside the outgoing Principal of St.Mary’s Broughton Gifford, to ensure a seamless transition into my new role, which includes getting to know the school community. I will make sure my expectations are clear for all staff and their role in supporting children through any changes as is the case usually in September each year. And finally, I am looking forward to meeting children, staff, and parents informally and formally over the remainder of this year and listening/taking on board everyone’s feedback as to how we can continue to build on the solid foundations of my predecessor
And finally, what inspires you most?
There are many things that inspire me as a teacher but for me, it’s witnessing the enthusiasm of our children as they learn. I will always endeavour to do my very very best to deliver the best school experience every child deserves.