Competitive, but a 'people's person'

11th September 1998 at 01:00
Judith Mullen's ambition is to manage Manchester City to the top of the Premier Division, but being president of the Secondary Heads Association will have do for now.

The motto for her presidency is "a learning culture for all" - appropriate for a woman who is also the warden of Melbourn Village College, a Cambridge- shire comprehensive community school open from 8am to 10.30pm, She also intends to raise the profile of the union, which she believes, under the new general secretaryship of John Dunford, will be pushed on to a bright future.

"I've said I'm available for weddings, funerals and barmitzvahs. But seriously, I think John Dunford is the sort of leader SHA needs at this time. And my intention during this year is to meet as many of our members as possible."

Judith Mullen is a PE specialist, has represented Lancashire and the North-west in netball and lacrosse and used to throw a mean javelin. It isn't too difficult to imagine her blowing her Acme Thunderer whistle.

She admits to being personally "horribly" competitive. "I couldn't see the point of putting my trainers on if I wasn't going to win," she said. However, she believes competitiveness within schools is undermining co-operation between heads and schools, and is harming children.

She said: "The race to succeed in the tables is sidelining the guidance curriculum. We keep hearing from employers that young people today don't have the interpersonal skills they require. We need time to focus on personal development."

Judith says her strength is with people: "I'm a people's person." A veteran SHA member described her as "warm and direct", and she said: "There is a place for being direct, but there is also a place for having a chat over a glass of wine."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today