My name is Anna and I’m the Principal of Loxdale English Centre. This means that I oversee all areas of the school and am responsible for the smooth running of our courses and the welfare and well-being of our students and staff. Students and staff can come and see me whether they need help or if they have a good idea. Everyone at Loxdale can have an input in their course and the school.
I started at Loxdale in March 2006 and love it here. We foster a really inclusive and welcoming atmosphere so that our students are relaxed, motivated and in the best position to learn. Everyone comes with different aims and ambitions and part of my job is to make sure that we have the best resources, programme, staff and teaching team to help our students achieve their potential.
I am also one of the Safeguarding and Prevent Officers. I meet all our students regularly both formally and informally and often am the person who will do their First Day Induction talk and introduce them to our courses. I think that all my students feel that they can come and talk to me at any time about any concerns or suggestions, my office door is always open. They also have my phone number and e-mail address so they can contact me at any time of the day or night if there is an emergency.
I’m lucky enough to be one of those people who have always known what they wanted to do. When I was 7 years old my parents started a school teaching English as a Foreign language in Salisbury; The Salisbury School of English.
It was a wonderful environment to grow up in. My sisters and I learnt about cultures from all over the world and every holiday was spent either helping in the school or on visits to meet agents around Europe.
From the age of 10 I was in the classroom during the summer holidays helping the teacher, often supporting the younger, lower level students who may be shy.
At 14, I started to work properly as a courier, every holiday and weekend that I could. I would go up to Heathrow and Gatwick and spend the days there meeting new individual students and groups and help link them up with their transport back to Salisbury to meet their hosts. Then, at 16, I became a Social Organiser.
Everything I studied was to help me secure a job in the EFL world that I love. I did a degree in Business Studies and then took my RSA Celta teaching qualification. To get some experience outside of our school, I taught in Sweden for 6 months. From there, over the next 12 years, I worked in almost every role that an EFL school has, Teacher, Customer Service, Operations Manager, Residential Course Manager and I helped with host family placements and the accounts.
When my parents retired, we decided to sell the family school and I go the job as Principal for Loxdale English Centre. It was a great choice. It’s not a chain school but an educational charity. So Loxdale exists to help give as many students as possible the opportunity of studying English in the UK. I hope that clients see that I still run this school along the principles of a family run school that cares about their students.
Outside of school, I have a son and two daughters who keep me busy. I also love watching films and baking and cooking. In fact, on the Loxdale Social Programme will find baking sessions that I teach.
Student safety is also a key part of my work. I am Vice-Chairman of Sussex Safeguarding which is the first such organisation in the UK. We are a group of schools that look at various issues that may affect our adult and young learner students and encourage best practices amongst the schools.
I’m also on the Young Learners EnglishUK committee. This is a national organisation is for accredited schools who are committed to providing a safe and rewarding experience for our students. We work towards raising standards in welfare, safety and child protection.