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Business News Historic: The Foundation offices


Birmingham. “It was all online at first. It was frustrating not to meet everybody.” His vision for the future of one of


the UK’s most historic educational establishments is clear. “Some of the children are in challenging home situations. It is about supporting them, making sure they are safe and happy and expending their energies well. “It is also about getting the


‘Schools are microcosms of society and whatever problems you find in society you find in schools’


“But in terms of my development


as a teacher it was the most formative period for me. I had a couple of tough nuts but it was lack of confidence really thinking they couldn’t do it. You could get them to see they could do it. “I learnt how tough their lives


were because of their home backgrounds. There was often no role model, their father did not get up to go to work, their grandfather had not gone to work.” Later he was appointed head of


the organisation’s first ever sixth form. “I trained to deal with


safeguarding and child protection issues. Schools are microcosms of society and whatever problems you find in society you find in schools, whether it be drugs, alcohol, domestic abuse or neglect.” Jodh became head of Parkside in


2015 for a four-year spell which included an outstanding rating from Ofsted in 2017. He was appointed to a national leader of education role before his career took another twist in 2019 when he moved to Dubai with the global GEMS Education Group, eventually overseeing more than 50 schools in


the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. “Dubai was an amazing


experience. It was a private global group and I was mainly in charge of the UAE and Saudi Arabia schools. We had such a different diversity of schools – the Indian pupils had an incredible work ethic, so well behaved and hard-working.” But within two years he was on


his way home to the UK, swapping the exotic climes of Dubai for a new executive role running a nationally- renowned Birmingham educational institution steeped in nearly 500 years of tradition and learning. He is now looking forward to


getting to know the head teachers and staff who work at the various King Edward VI schools across


schools really working together. In fact, Covid has helped that. Heads have learnt so much about working together over that period.” Jodh admits education has changed - “Gosh, has it changed a lot” – during his years working in Southend, Cambridge and the Middle East but he is particularly supportive of the Government’s Progress Eight initiative, introduced in 2016 to focus more clearly on individual pupils. “It was once mainly about


making grades, As, Bs, Cs. You are now looking at every individual child, every individual’s journey.” Jodh’s own journey has already


taken him from an underprivileged background in Southend to a prestige executive role helping shape the future of 10,000 schoolchildren across Birmingham. If some of the King Edward Schools’ pupils can emulate that, Jodh Dhesi will be a happy man.


April 2021 CHAMBERLINK 21


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