A message from our Primary Director

Sabeena Hasan

Working in our primary academies is more than just a job; we spend a lot of time at work so we want to make it a great place. I promise that we will look after you, and you will be supported and challenged in equal measure. 

We are highly aspirational and high achieving but you will be given all the resources and support that you need to enable our children, and to develop your career with us. 

We look for people who are dedicated, patient, compassionate, and have a genuine love for children. If you come to us with those things, the right attitude, and you're prepared to work hard, we'll help you with the rest. 

Sabeena Hasan, Primary Director

About primary education at Harris

Our vision

All of our staff and pupils have the right to be safe, happy, and respected. We believe that if those things happen, our children will achieve their potential. We will do absolutely everything to ensure that every child will succeed. 

 

Our academies

Every single one of our academies is unique. We empower our school leadership teams to make decisions that are right for their children, their families, and their communities.

We have primary academies situated in 7 London boroughs. All of our primary academies have been rated "Good" or "Outstanding" by Ofsted, with many having joined the Federation as previously failing schools located in challenging areas of London. 

 

How we work together

Our cluster system is designed to promote collaboration and support among our academies. By dividing our academies into clusters, we create strong networks where schools can facilitate the sharing of expertise and resources.

Our Assistant Directors each lead school improvement across one of the clusters, providing the academies with additional support and ensuring that each academy benefits from the shared knowledge and best practices of the group. By empowering our staff to work together and leverage their collective strengths, we ultimately enhance the educational experience for our pupils.

I would recommend working at Harris to any teacher, senior leader, or teaching assistant, especially if you are keen to progress. It’s just so well facilitated here and there are so many more opportunities because we are a large network of academies so there are possibilities everywhere. 

Jordan, Head of Academy - Harris Primary Academy Shortlands

Career progression and development

CPD is central to the success in our primary schools. We recognise that by investing in our teachers and support staff, we are investing in excellence and the future of our pupils. 

Professional development and training

As a founding member of the National Institute of Teaching (NIOT), we are committed to transforming teacher development and understand the impact it has on school improvement. We will give you opportunities to study for National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) to help you to develop your expertise in specialist areas of teaching and leadership. 

For our non-teaching support staff, we also invest in your development through the use of apprenticeships, giving you opportunities to gain industry qualifications. 

 

Opportunities for progression

We take immense pride in our commitment to fostering leadership from within our schools. We will give you opportunities to explore roles and seek growth across the Federation, and we encourage our staff to experience the different contexts and communities that our schools work in. 

85% of our Heads, and 80% of our senior leadership teams are individuals who have developed their careers within Harris. 

These numbers reflect our trust in our staff's capabilities and underscores our belief in nurturing their potential, empowering them to lead and shape the future of our academies.

 

Curriculum support

We have a very bespoke curriculum that a team of specialists spent 4 years developing. Our focus is on subject-based learning, and we will give you in depth CPD to help you teach this high-subject knowledge material. As with everything we do, all the support we provide will be tailored and implemented in a way that works for you. We welcome and encourage feedback from you and will always do what we can to make your life easier. 

We are proud to have 13 Teaching and Learning Consultants who work across our primary academies. Their role is to enhance what we are doing whether that be running interventions, supporting a new leadership team, giving advice for a struggling school, and to provide subject-specialist knowledge. 

I can say without any reservations that coming to work for Harris was the best decision I made in my professional life. I joined as Vice Principal; since then, I have been supported, coached, and nurtured to not only excel as a Vice Principal but also to prepare me for my current role - Head of Academy. The continued support and excellent CPD opportunities at every stage of your career is unmatched. I cannot imagine working for any other school or trust now, except Harris. 

Zainab, Head of Academy - Harris Primary Academy Peckham Park

Support and wellbeing

Work-life balance

Working in primary schools can be challenging but we do what we can to offer you a strong work-life balance. None of our primary academies stay open later than 6pm, and we operate a no-email policy outside the hours of 7am-7pm. 

The support we provide will be tailored to you but examples of what we have done previously include giving extra PPA time, helping teachers with marking, and encouraging staff to step outside of their comfort zones. 

 

Wellbeing Wednesday

Wellbeing Wednesday is celebrated in all of our academies. Starting during the pandemic as a way to help each other through the harder times, it has now extended to every member of staff getting the opportunity to do something lovely for their colleagues on a Wednesday. 

From bringing in tasty treats, exploring creative endeavours, or playing fun games, it's become a core part of working in one of our schools. There has even started to be some friendly competition between our schools for who organises the best Wellbeing Wednesday activities. 

Wellbeing Wednesday