22 Dec Wetherby School Head of Communications Shares Her Story
My job is to keep everybody happy, says Amy Hutchinson who has a dual Comms and Headmaster’s PA role
How did you first get into the education sector? What motivated you?
I sort of fell into it. I did a Master’s in Art History at Nottingham University, moved to London and I needed a job, so I began work as a PA at a state school. I liked working in an educational environment, but the school was a bit too big, so when I saw the job at Wetherby I said, ‘Let’s go for it’.
What do you love most about your job?
My favourite part of this job has been and always will be the interaction with the boys. They are the reason we are here. They are very cute and funny and I am here to look after them.
There’s a sense of community. You get to know the boys and their parents. You get to see the boys grow up. You get to see them flourish and it’s nice to watch.
When did you first join Wetherby and how has your role changed?
I started in August 2014. Previously, I was the Registrar and the Headmaster’s PA. I began my current role as Head of Communications this year, and I am still the Headmaster’s PA.
Could you provide an overview of your current post?
It’s all about making sure the communication between school and home is always open and clear. I am front of house; I’m the gal that the parents can call or email. I try to make sure everybody is happy. My role is also about communicating with the wider community — other schools, charities and local residents.
What’s the most memorable application you received to the school and why?
A lot of parents register literally straight after their children have been born, which is nice, because they are always so excited to tell you about their new son immediately after the birth. They are so genuinely happy. That’s the nicest thing about being a Registrar.
What’s the most effective method of keeping in touch with your alumni?
Most of our engagement with alumni is done online. At the moment, I’m populating our website with stories of alumni. Also, we are hoping to launch an alumni database next term with ToucanTech. I will be the Head Admin for that. We see a huge value in using ToucanTech. It’s nice for alumni to get together and chat as a community. We don’t need to put Wetherby on the map — we’re already popular. But the database is a nice way to create more events and get all of the old boys involved.
We have held events in the past, like the one for our 60th birthday a few years ago. We also had a talk from an old boy who is a two-time Olympian (he won a gold at Rio) — I think talks that really inspire the boys are a key reason to widen our alumni network. The database is a way of putting all of that engagement together. It’s about getting the alumni more involved.
What is your fondest memory from your own school days at Mayfield?
One of my favourite things about Mayfield is Live Crib — it’s like a nativity that all the Mayfield girls get involved in. The baby Jesus is a real baby — it’s normally an old girl’s child. You have a real donkey. And the Year Sevens are angels. And the Sixth Formers are Mary and Joseph and all of the kings. We have a beautiful old school chapel and it’s always held there. There’s a precession through the village. It’s always packed. It’s really Christmassy. And it was always on my birthday.
Back then, did you ever think you’d end up working in a school yourself?
No. Absolutely categorically not! I had warped views of where I thought I would be and it was not working in a school office. When you’re 16 you feel you’ll automatically walk into an amazing job. I thought I’d own my own gallery by the time I was 25. But I’m happy where I am.