Profile – Judith Hibbert

    Curriculum Vitae

    2002-present:  Head of professional development, National Association of Educational Advisers, Inspectors and Consultants.

    2001-2:  Independent consultant dealing with inspection of schools.

    1997-2001:  Education officer (school improvements), Leicester Council.

    1989-97:  Adviser on teaching history, geography and general subjects and equal opportunities, Leicestershire Council. 1975-89: Various teaching jobs and motherhood.

    1970-2: Social worker, Leicester City.

    1967-70: Full-time student Leicester University, degree in sociology and politics.

    1964-6: Student nurse, Hammersmith Hospital.

    Judith Hibbert spent the 1960s and 1970s chopping and changing her career, switching from nursing to social work and then to education. She may not have appreciated it then, but this constant flux would stand her in good stead decades later in her position as head of professional development at the National Association of Educational Advisers, Inspectors and Consultants.

    Her role involves planning and running training courses for people whose job it is to improve schools and learning. Her hands-on experience in all three disciplines is invaluable. “I did not plan it that way, but having a multi-disciplinary approach is really important in the job that I now do,” she says.

    It is a good time to have that multi-disciplinary focus and Hibbert’s career has been given a new edge by the increasing demand for partnership working under the Children Act 2004 and Every Child Matters programme. Having that practical experience of the different professions makes it easier for her to persuade the people she deals with that she knows what she is talking about.

    “I know what it is like to be a social worker dealing with an abandoned child, and I understand the culture and language of social work departments and hospitals,” she says.

    Her association members are all senior education professionals who understand the thinking behind the government’s reforms. Hibbert must help them confront the reality of implementing those reforms.

    She says her job is to challenge, inform and stimulate. “They need to think and plan around what multi-disciplinary working will mean in practice. It means new ways of thinking about our work as professionals. I have to challenge their prejudices so that there can be a greater understanding of cultures and a willingness to work together.”

    Not everyone is happy about the planned changes or can see how they could be implemented, so Hibbert needs to guide them through that process and help them test new ways of working. “Some don’t really know how they will go about working in this way, so it helps if I can suggest things for them to try out and they can go back and see how the idea works in practice,” she says.

    To do this, Hibbert needs to disseminate the latest research on findings relevant to the work of her members.
    It is not easy being responsible for overseeing people whose job it is to oversee other professionals, but that is part of the challenge for Hibbert.

    “You have to give thought to how you can change their thinking and learning if they are in turn to change the thinking and learning of others,” she says. cc udith Hibbert spent the 1960s and 1970s chopping and changing her career, switching from nursing to social work and then to education. She may not have appreciated it then, but this constant flux would stand her in good stead decades later in her position as head of professional development at the National Association of Educational Advisers, Inspectors and Consultants.
    Her role involves planning and running training courses for people whose job it is to improve schools and learning. Her hands-on experience in all three disciplines is invaluable. “I did not plan it that way, but having a multi-disciplinary approach is really important in the job that I now do,” she says.

    It is a good time to have that multi-disciplinary focus and Hibbert’s career has been given a new edge by the increasing demand for partnership working under the Children Act 2004 and Every Child Matters programme. Having that practical experience of the different professions makes it easier for her to persuade the people she deals with that she knows what she is talking about.

    “I know what it is like to be a social worker dealing with an abandoned child, and I understand the culture and language of social work departments and hospitals,” she says.

    Her association members are all senior education professionals who understand the thinking behind the government’s reforms. Hibbert must help them confront the reality of implementing those reforms.

    She says her job is to challenge, inform and stimulate. “They need to think and plan around what multi-disciplinary working will mean in practice. It means new ways of thinking about our work as professionals. I have to challenge their prejudices so that there can be a greater understanding of cultures and a willingness to work together.”

    Not everyone is happy about the planned changes or can see how they could be implemented, so Hibbert needs to guide them through that process and help them test new ways of working. “Some don’t really know how they will go about working in this way, so it helps if I can suggest things for them to try out and they can go back and see how the idea works in practice,” she says.

    To do this, Hibbert needs to disseminate the latest research on findings relevant to the work of her members.
    It is not easy being responsible for overseeing people whose job it is to oversee other professionals, but that is part of the challenge for Hibbert.

    “You have to give thought to how you can change their thinking and learning if they are in turn to change the thinking and learning of others,” she says.

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