Clare Macro

The headmistress at Edgbaston High School for Girls, Clare Macro, on running her first marathon, panic stations at Cadbury World and why every child deserves to be challenged and inspired by their education


I graduated from Oxford in 1994 and have been in education ever since. There simply isn’t a better career. Every child has their hopes and dreams as well as obstacles to overcome and to be part of that journey is very special.


My role is first and foremost an educator and guide. I recently heard Floyd Woodrow, the renowned leadership and performance coaching expert, speak at a conference and he wanted us to think about our statement of intent that draws us forward and where our internal compass is directed, because if we do not know where we are going and why we are going there we cannot possibly guide the students in our schools. He called this driving force our Super North Star and I believe that my role is to help children identify their Super North Star.


My ambition is to ensure all pupils who leave Edgbaston High School appreciate the impact that they have on others and particularly the responsibility that they have to give of their time, talents and charity to the wider community. Children should be empowered, inspired and challenged throughout their education so that they leave school fully equipped to succeed in whatever they decide to pursue.


I am not the most athletic of people, so my biggest success was completing a marathon 18 months ago. I have enjoyed running recreationally for the last 25 years but did not think that I would have the time or willpower to train for a marathon. After watching on TV Eddie Izzard run 27 marathons in 27 days I was inspired, and I set myself a goal of running one before I turned 45. On the day I ran the MK marathon the temperature peaked at 27 degrees and I literally crawled over the finish line. However, the satisfaction of completing it was immense and it was very emotional.


Our biggest critics are ourselves and the person most likely to hold you back is yourself. Believing in yourself allows others to believe in you. I posted on Instagram recently a Dr Seuss quote that I think sums up the biggest lesson I have learned: “Always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined.”


Having only lived in Birmingham for a short time, I know that there is still plenty to discover. Prior to starting work at Edgbaston High School, my only other encounter with Birmingham was Cadbury World and the association isn’t great as I managed to lose my three-year-old daughter in the attraction for a few heart-stopping moments. I have been surprised by the leafiness and green spaces of Birmingham and the rich heritage that is so prevalent has also been fascinating to learn about.


I still like to run and will perhaps contemplate a second marathon before I am 50 (just to see if I can run it faster). I also love walking and am looking forward to hiking some of the beautiful hills and countryside surrounding Birmingham. I always have plenty of books on the go, but more often than not end up sinking in front of the television with my family and watching shows like Killing Eve, The Capture and Strictly Come Dancing. I also love to watch cricket and am thrilled that my school is so close to Edgbaston Cricket ground.