Appointed November 2013, Michael McKeaveney was previously Deputy Head at the Hackney UTC, where he looked after curriculum and employer engagement. He also has held a number of senior roles both at the Harris Federation and the Ark Network.
Who/what inspired you to become a teacher?
I was lucky to grow up with a good education in Scotland, with so many committed teachers who continually went the extra mile for their students. Most memorably as part of the Lanarkshire Orchestral Society, I saw and was inspired by a great number of music teachers who gave up their Friday evenings to create a love of music in young people of all backgrounds. Seeing their vocation inspired me to follow in their footsteps.
What achievement are you most proud of as Head?
I am incredibly fortunate to have been given the opportunity to open a University Technical College, bringing together a number of industry stakeholders and sponsors. The great deal of support we receive from our sponsors really is second to none. On top of that, seeing our first cohort progress last summer, with no NEETs into the appropriate pathways of apprenticeships, employment or training. This success exemplifies how successful UTCs can be and I am forever proud that I am able to sit in the seat I do today.
What does a successful school look like to you?
A successful school has strong positive relationships, high expectations, no islands, no one left behind and no excuses. Where everyone in the school community learns from one another, supports one another and sees the person behind the name. Where every student feels safe, wanted and welcome.
What is the most important quality you want every child to have when they leave your school? And why?
When students leave Sir Charles Kao UTC, they are ready to join a multitude of different and diverse careers. They are fully prepared for life in modern Britain.
Education is the silver bullet, because if you fix education, you provide better careers for young people, who in turn earn more and pay more tax, which enables us to pay for better public services. Fixing education means you are able to see the benefit in wider society. We’ve seen too many young people leaving education not fully prepared for the world of work, but University Technical College’s buck that trend.
Please give 5 words to describe the ethos of your school.
Professional, trailblazing, welcoming, demanding, supportive.