After completing Teach First’s teacher training programme, Mei Lim spent a few more years in the classroom before moving overseas to pursue her academic studies. But it was those very studies that drew her back to the UK and back into teaching – and teaching an entirely different age group…
After completing the Teach First programme in 2008, I spent a further four years in secondary schools before moving to Berlin to study a Master of Public Policy degree. During my studies I realised that, if I wanted to have the greatest possible impact on children’s lives, I needed to go back into teaching and switch to the primary phase, because this is where you can really shape the whole course of a child’s educational journey.
I joined Weyfield Primary Academy in 2014 and was appointed Headteacher in 2016. The school serves a disadvantaged community where there are above average numbers of pupils with special educational needs and who speak English as a second language, and many experience challenging circumstances at home. It is therefore a real privilege to lead a team of professionals who are committed to changing these children’s lives, cultivating in them a lifelong love of learning and ensuring they have opportunities to develop as young people and make positive choices about their future. In an increasingly challenging environment it’s important not to lose sight of the bigger mission of addressing social disadvantage.
I realised that, if I wanted to have the greatest possible impact on children’s lives, I needed to go back into teaching
Having access to a network of Teach First headteachers has been invaluable for this very reason and I feel so empowered and lucky to be able to work alongside them towards achieving our common goal.