Claire Stoneman is deputy headteacher at Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School, Birmingham, leading on teaching and learning and curriculum. She has also led the development of the school’s anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic work, including a collaborative project with Stonewall and the Crown Prosecution Service. The school’s work in this area has been nationally recognised by a number of organisations, including an award from the DfE. As an English specialist, Claire has published a book with Routledge on the teaching of playwriting; she is currently writing a book on LGBT inclusion in schools.
I started at Dame Elizabeth Cadbury in 2010, in a brand new post as assistant headteacher, and immediately loved it. It’s a happy, vibrant school of, at the time, just over 600 pupils (we’ve since grown!), so has a real family feel. You get to know all the pupils by name, and they all get to know you. It was September and the sun was shining: the new academic year rolled ahead with all its possibility and hope. Crisp new books were opened, dates were written on boards, titles underlined. The children were happy, funny, eager to learn. Everything seemed great. There were the usual issues that crop up when you’re ‘getting your feet under the table’ in a new school, especially as a new senior leader, but all was grand.