Staff Profiles

Laura Buchanan

Year 9 Team Leader

My realisation for wanting to teach came in 2005 when I qualified as a climbing wall instructor. This role first ignited my passion for wanting to be a teacher as it gave me the chance to pass on my knowledge and skills and in return get a real sense of accomplishment. At university I studied events management as it had a strong business bias and it would enable me to apply to be a teacher once I had finished university. After completing my degree I worked as a wedding and events planner before starting my PGCE at Nottingham Trent University.

I joined The JCB Academy in August 2016 as business teacher and am now in my sixth year of teaching. All of the staff at The JCB Academy are very dedicated and supportive which helped me to fit in with ease. In 2017, I took on additional responsibilities as Assistant Director of Sixth Form and also had the opportunity to assist on the ski trip to Italy, the water sports trip to Spain and the Business and Engineering trip to India.

I have now been promoted to the role of Team Leader for Royce House. This is an extremely rewarding job as I get to work closely with our excellent support staff to ensure that all learners’ pastoral needs are met whilst here at The JCB Academy.

The JCB Academy provides excellent CPD for all staff to help them achieve their maximum potential. We also have excellent links with industry challenge partners such as JCB, Rolls-Royce, Toyota and PwC which provide our learners with a unique learning experience and helps to bring all subjects to life by using real life business scenarios.

Applying for a job at The JCB Academy is hands down the best decision I have ever made.

Abu Akther

Assistant Team Leader – Mathematics

Having graduated with a degree in chemical engineering, I have continued to have a passion for promoting and developing core mathematical principles that underpin the world of engineering and technology.

I achieved a masters qualification for my PGCE and realised that the academic arena was where my strengths and interests lie. I spent a year training to become a qualified teacher and I joined The JCB Academy as mathematics teacher early on in my career in 2012.

At The JCB Academy I found myself working with a team of professionals committed to contributing to the engineering workforce and who shared my values of hard work and commitment.

Throughout my time at The JCB Academy I have been pushed to work to the best of my ability and have been given opportunities to prove my expertise and enthusiasm on several occasions. In 2016 I was given the chance to demonstrate my leadership capability when I took on the role of team leader of mathematics on a temporary basis, a role in which I gained valuable experiences. I was delighted to be appointed to my current position in 2018.

All the roles I have undertaken at The JCB Academy have been challenging, demanding and very rewarding. I have always had guidance and support from experienced members of staff who have had a big impact on my overall professional development.

Steve Fergusson

Lead Practitioner – Engineering

I joined The JCB Academy in summer 2019 as Lead Practitioner of Engineering. Having spent 16 years in teaching working in a variety of roles from Head of Faculty to Strategic Leader in a Multi Academy Trust, I saw this as an opportunity for me to do something completely different to what I had done previously.

Working at The JCB is extremely rewarding. I am part of team who are passionate about ensuring all our learners succeed and who support each other on a daily basis. Learner and staff relationships are very positive and this rapport is evident in every lesson where teachers are able to facilitate learning so that maximum results are achieved.

The links that The JCB Academy has with business partners such as JCB, Toyota and Rolls Royce enable learners to ‘see the bigger picture’ when in lessons. We work closely in engineering with these challenge partners and learners complete live projects and visits so they can see real life engineering and understand the business elements of a company. The facilities within the academy are great, with both classroom and practical spaces being available for staff and learners to use. Engineering is very well supported with machines, tools, materials and resources – which means staff can produce a variety of teaching materials to help learners make rapid and sustained progress.

I feel that working in such a forward thinking and modern education establishment will aid my own professional development in the forthcoming years, with SLT offering superb CPD and support on a daily basis. In addition, I know that The JCB Academy will offer continuing professional development for me and I couldn’t think of a better education establishment to progress my teaching career onto the next chapter.

Tom Riddle

Learning Manager – Engineering / Assistant Director of Sixth Form

Having graduated with a BSc Hons Degree and PGCE in Computer Science, I have a deep passion for engineering. This passion has been demonstrated through many years of teaching experience at both GCSE and A Level having worked in a number of schools across Staffordshire.

I joined The JCB Academy in August 2019 as an Engineering Learning Manager and have recently taken on additional responsibilities having been appointed as Assistant Director of Sixth Form. This has enabled me to develop into an outstanding practitioner having been given opportunities to further my overall professional development. This was only possible through support from colleagues and outstanding CPD the academy offers to help me achieve my teaching potential.

Learners at the academy inspire me daily and I am passionate about ensuring that my teaching practice reflects our vision of: ‘Changing lives by developing the engineers and business leaders of the future’. The academy provides a rewarding and exciting curriculum which has given me opportunities to work with our challenge partners to provide learners with unique learning experiences, helping to bring engineering and business to life using real life industry scenarios. All staff at the academy work tirelessly to ensure our learners meet their goals academically, socially and emotionally in preparation for the world of work and in society.

The JCB Academy offers a safe, caring, supportive and happy business environment allowing learners to achieve their best, ensuring they meet their goals and aspirations. As I was born and raised not too far away, I appreciate the importance the academy plays in the community and I am excited about helping us grow further to become a leading light across the area.