In this podcast Jim speaks with Mark Fuller. Mark is a previous secondary school principal and is now Head of Training Operations at The Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering (DSEME) which part for the Defence College of Technical Training and is located at MOD Lyneham in Wiltshire. Jim and Mark discuss the challenges and opportunities the C-19 pandemic has presented in terms of leadership and planning and delivering high-quality training. The discussion provides an interesting perspective with implications for all those in school and system leadership on the importance of visible leadership, inclusion, communication, celebrating succes43:03n and the ‘human element’.
Mark spent 24 years teaching in secondary schools in Swindon, Wiltshire and Bristol and twelve of those in various senior leadership positions including as Headteacher. Seeking a new challenge he made the decision to leave the school sector and took a role in trainer development for Babcock and was recently appointed Head of Training Operations at The Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering (DSEME) which part for the Defence College of Technical Training and is located at MOD Lyneham in Wiltshire. It is responsible for delivering technical training to soldiers, Royal Marines, airmen and officers from all three Services. DSEME has a mission to deliver flexible, affordable, modern and effective technical training in order to support equipment capability that meets the requirements of the nation’s Armed Forces and the needs of their trainees now and into the future. His role as head of Training Operations includes training delivery, training design, training planning & scheduling, media & graphics and equipment support to:
- Over 1,050 courses
- Over 166 types of course
- Over 11,500 students per year
- Over 2,050 students in training at any one time
- Over 2,500 piece of equipment including weapons, tanks, helicopters, trucks, electrical and electronic training aids, high pressure systems and simulators
His first task in his new role was to pause training for over a thousand soldiers, his second task was to re-start it! Mark is a Fellow of the Society for Education and Training (SET) and has led a national best practice initiative on the use of Professional Standards for staff development and holds an MSc in professional Development in Education. He is passionate about learning in all forms and has taught in China and has a longstanding relationship with a school in Brikama, The Gambia, West Africa which he still returns to and teaches in on a regular basis. This appetite for learning has just seen him complete a Foundation Degree in Coaching and Mentoring in order to improve his own practice. He is married with three children all at different stages of the education system – University, FE College and Secondary School and his wife is a prison librarian with an interest in adult literacy. Mark has been an influential figure in Jim’s professional career and his leadership approach is based on the values and principles he lives by.
04:15 So firstly Mark, tell us a bit about you, your background and current role and responsibilities.
09:00 The challenge of contextual-based learning
12:10 For you and those at MOD Lyneham what have been the implications of current situation and what has been the leadership/strategic response
29:13 What opportunities of new ways of working and legacy of current period are there?
43:03 What are the things you think we need to get right both as leaders and also leading teaching / training during this recovery phase?
Jim can be found on Twitter @jimrogers72