I am standing taller....


I have recently come back from my 2nd WomenED regional event (Southhampton and Oxford) and I am delighted with the feeling that I am now standing taller....  

Question: why would a teacher give up a precious Saturday to engage in voluntary CPD?

Answer: you will get to be inspired by some incredible educators in this country and you will come away feeling strengthened by the new networks and contacts you would have made.

The fact is that our profession has a glass ceiling. Statistically there are more men in senior leadership positions yet the profession is dominated by women. I love the  #WomenEd  movement  because it's a powerful, grassroots organisation which simply seeks to challenge the status quo by helping remove the barriers which stop women  and B.A.M.E. educators from applying or being considered for leadership positions.  

Both regional events have given me the opportunity to be 10%braver and share my leadership journey and champion my core values. 

In the past, my confidence has been knocked by rejected job applications.  I have a senior position in a school but the pathway for my male counterparts seems to be linear progression and I find myself, like so many other women, taking the scenic route. 

As a result, frustrations have set in and I have really had to dig deep to turn these set backs into challenges and thanks to the free coaching offered by WomenED and the DFE - reflect on my leadership journey. My WHY? What are my values? What experience can I offer to the education sector, colleagues and young people?   Why I should pursue the core values that I hold close to my heart  and which drive me to want to bring about effective change in our schools and be a leading educator. The movement has given me the confidence to simply do what I feel I must do, to be defined by my soul and not my role, to think bigger, to look beyond one set of school walls. 

This confidence has allowed me to forge ahead and as a result there have been some exciting opportunities opening up.  

I have been invited to sit on the advisory board for The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools . It is the first university centre dedicated to strengthening mental health in schools across the whole of the UK and has been established at Leeds Beckett University.  Professor Damien Page, Dean of the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett, explained:  focusing on improving classroom practice is not enough; we need to address the mental health of children first and train our students to look after children in the widest sense. The new Centre will give them the best possible grounding whilst boosting the skills of existing teachers and showing senior leaders how to take on a whole school approach to tackling mental health.” 

My core values and career path are aligning themselves and the direction is becoming clearer. I am very excited. Watch this space.

Author Profile

Clare Erasmus

Clare Erasmus

Director of Mental Health & Wellbeing & Head of Creative Media

47 stories


Hannah Williams Hannah Williams @hannahwilliams 4 months ago
Love this! Oxford was also my second WomenEd event after Southampton - both times I have been a delegate, I have not yet been brave enough to speak...but I will!
I also share a huge passion for children's mental health and well being, working in primary focusing on early years I believe that it is important that children are nurtured and taught how to take care of their own well being from a young age, it is also important that as adults we model that we do this to!
Thank you for sharing your journey, Hannah.
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 4 months ago
Great summary of your journey Clare. Loved hearing you speak so passionately about everything you have achieved and fought for in your school. See you in Sheffield! X
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 4 months ago
Clare, I am watching this space with a lot of excitement! I can identify with the scenic route and frustrations you shared. None the less, look at how much taller you are standing as a result. A definite step in the right direction and increased alightnent to your core purpose / value. So they did you a favour by turning you down as you have now been steered on to a path of greatness. Thoroughly delighted with your achievements this year as all are well deserved. You are an uplifting, energising and authentic role model. So pleased our paths have crossed and I meant every word I shared with you yesterday. Onwards and upwards xXx
Jonathan Harris Jonathan Harris @jonny 4 months ago
Well done. Be open and be honest about things. Too many times talented members of staff are held back for the wrong reasons. Thought- why not make all SLT posts 2 years or three and all the way through there is CPD SMART targets and assessment and then cousin rotate or stay?
Clare Erasmus Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach 4 months ago
Ty @natw @jonny @byusuf great support and I am truly grateful for. Twitter and staff RM have helped me discover the most amazing talented generous group of leading educators and you all fit that category
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 4 months ago
Thanks for coming, sharing and shining as always - excited for you to become a #womened regional leader for the SE soon! xx
Clare Erasmus Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach 4 months ago
@misswilsey #OWLIE was incredible. The speakers, the setting of your school Aureus ( like glorious) and the food and drink . It was a top class gathering that you arranged with seemingly​ little fuss. WomenED is transforming lives and it is an honour to help the movement as a regional representative with so many other formidable beacon educators
[Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] 4 months ago
Looking forward to having your leadership nationally in mental health forums. Positive focussed passionate and practical voice every time you share mental health plans. Joining you in SE region too!
Clare Erasmus Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach 4 months ago
Thank You Jullie - looking fwd to you visiting our school today and sharing best practice when it comes to mental health and wellbeing support
Sue Webb Sue Webb @suew 4 months ago
You inspire people Clare! Not just standing taller but growing by the day and helping otbers to grow too. Amazing!
Clare Erasmus Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach 4 months ago
Thank You @suew - your time, experience and your coaching has been invaluable
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