We spoke with Ryan Kelsall, Deputy CEO of Eastern Learning Alliance (ELA), of which The Cavendish School is a member, to hear what inspires him and how he got to where he is today.
- Tell us a bit about your background…
I was born in the USA but have grown up and spent the majority of my life living in Cambridge. Following university, I returned to Cambridge and ran a fruit, veg and flower business in the city centre, where I met my wife; we have been married for 16 years and have four children. In 2004 – 2005, I trained as teacher at Impington Village College.
- How did you get started with your current work?
Following my training at Impington Village College, my first teaching job was at St Bede’s Inter-Church School where I became Head of Upper School from 2007 – 2012. I then returned to Impington Village College in 2012 as Vice Principal, becoming Principal in 2016 and then Deputy CEO of ELA in 2020. I am responsible for opening our new schools; The Cavendish School and The Cambridge Maths School and also lead across the Trust family of schools on Alternative Provision, Safeguarding and SEND.
- What challenges have you previously faced?
Being a relatively young parent while both my wife and I were busy starting our careers was challenging as I was ambitious but also wanted to ensure I was the best father I could be. I have always tried to ensure that I worked hard but also maintained a good work life balance so that I could actively contribute to my children’s lives on a day-to-day basis but also support their interests through volunteering, for example, as a youth group leader or sports coach.
- What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments?
The happiness and success of my children and family.
- What inspires you?
Working collaboratively with others to provide equity and equality of opportunity for all. I always try to lead by example and, as Stephen Covey puts it, “walk the talk”. I think my roles in leading and contributing to a range of education groups (School Governance, Schools Forum, Behaviour Panels) is evidence of this.
- What are you currently focusing on?
I have a number of key things that I am currently working on, namely:
- Opening The Cavendish School in 2021, as well as delivering on the promise of outstanding education for students with autism in Cambridge by recruiting and supporting an excellent Headteacher and staff body
- Opening The Cambridge Maths School by 2023
- Developing the family of schools in ELA