I would like others in the same kind of situation I experienced to know that they are not alone, support is out there and you can come through in a stronger position both personally and professionally.

I qualified as a teacher relatively late in life having moved around, including living abroad, and looking after a young family. I moved quickly through the ranks and soon became a headteacher in a school in a socially deprived area. The school was judged to be ‘good’ and was performing well, although it remained a challenging job. Its reputation was strong enough to attract strong candidates whenever we had vacancies. A job at the school was always sought after by people I considered to be of the required standard.

The issues began when the school joined a multi academy trust. The school did so voluntarily and I thought it would only make the school stronger but I would not have believed the problems which followed. Ultimately the trust made a series of unfounded ethical claims about me in order to force me out. It had a significantly negative impact on my physical and mental health and in the end I left the school. The whole series of events was extremely upsetting and humiliating, particularly given all I had achieved. A strong sense of guilt went with this as I did not want to let anyone down by leaving but I felt as though I had no choice and the situation was not going to get any better.

You may well need some specialist help to support your well-being. You are not the best person to comment so go to a professional and see it as investment rather than a burden. Get a team around you, drawn from family, friends and professionals as needs be. Talking to one other person, whatever your previous relationship or their qualifications, may not be enough. Dealing with the events you have been through may take a while to unravel subconsciously, so let it happen and do not force it. This is what time away is for. There is no need to downgrade yourself in terms of expectations for your next job so make sure you are in the best possible position to go for it.

You may be tempted to seek new employment instantly but I would not recommend it. If you are in a position where you can take some time out you should do so. You will find plenty around to keep you busy if you slow down enough to look. When you have had a little time you will realise that you were not ready at the start. Eventually you will know the right time to look for your next job.

Do not be a hermit and keep your story to yourself. Sharing your story is helpful to others as well as to yourself. Use your existing networks and look for new ones. My trade union representative did not understand the circumstances I was dealing with and I have since gone elsewhere. There are plenty of people who can help if you look around a little.

Ignore the rumours and the whispers, you cannot control them so put it to one side. Ultimately people know a lot less about your story than you think. They are also less likely to judge you by it. Those you worked with closely, and plenty of others too, remember the professional you still are.

If you are not successful to begin with, including if you do not get an interview, do not let it put you off. The right match between you and a school will come along whether it is early in the process of looking for a new post or not. You do not know what they are looking for, and you do not help yourself by second guessing.

In this day and age an increasing number of professionals have a story to tell. Even if it is not the experience they would have chosen it is still valuable. Someone who has come back from a bad experience has a great deal to offer others. If a governing body or a trust only want to select from candidates with no bad experiences then they may be severely limiting their options.

have now moved on to a new job, and a better one than the one I left. I am now an Executive Headteacher with more responsibilities and a greater opportunity to make a difference. It was a difficult time I went through but I am now stronger and wiser.

Written by an anonymous former eadteacher, now working as an Executive Headteacher.