Coaching & Leadership Development
Keeping school leaders
hope alive today, for
our children’s hope of a
better tomorrow.
Why our Schools Don’t Need “Super Heads”

Why our Schools Don’t Need “Super Heads”

The media occasionally present some School Leaders as “Super Heads”, leaders who can turn around a school at lightning speed, without experiencing the fragilities of human nature. In their presentation, “Super Heads” can sustain their performance and motivation, amidst criticism, job insecurity – without feeling anything in the process.

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5 Ways to Get Proper Rest and Renewal this Summer

5 Ways to Get Proper Rest and Renewal this Summer

You’ve made it! I am sure there have been times this school year, when you thought this day would never come! But here it is. The end of term has finally arrived. Reports have been written, final meetings with parents and governors have taken place, goodbyes have been said to staff and pupils and now it’s time for you to say ‘goodbye’ to your ‘to do’ list and switch off for the summer break.

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The Importance of Following Your Vision – Alison Kriel

The Importance of Following Your Vision – Alison Kriel

Teaching is what the women do in my family. As a child I decided I wanted to be different but there’s something about the calling that comes from deep within and my passion and respect for the profession has never wavered. Over the time, I have been in education – I have been inspired by some wonderful leaders that have believed in me and who had a deep belief in their own vision and did what was necessary to see it through.

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How do School Leaders Benefit from Coaching?

How do School Leaders Benefit from Coaching?

As you may have seen, recently I shared how the NUT (alongside Integrity Coaching) will be running a wonderful scheme to offer heavily subsidised coaching to all of its Headteacher members – the deadline of which is the end of April. This generous offer from the NUT has already attracted a spectrum of amazing Heads from different backgrounds and at various different stages of their headship journey.

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Secret Headteacher – What Every Governor Needs to Know About Supporting Headteachers

Secret Headteacher – What Every Governor Needs to Know About Supporting Headteachers

For the last three years, I have been the headteacher at a special needs school. When I first joined the school, it was very much going through a difficult period of transition. The head and the deputy head had both left at the same time, and so had left the school without any real leadership and in a state of instability. So I was brought in, relatively inexperienced and without any real leadership support, to make some substantial changes.

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What is it Really Like to be a Headteacher Today?

What is it Really Like to be a Headteacher Today?

To be a head teacher today is not as simple as the title suggests. It’s likely you aren’t the lead learner or the grand exemplar of what excellent teaching and learning should look like. To be a head teacher today means not only must you know your craft, but you must also show that you possess skills that are commensurate with those possessed by social workers, psychologists, politicians, data analysts and a whole host of other roles that remain conspicuously absent from any formal Headteacher job description.

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The 5 Attributes of Wise Leadership

The 5 Attributes of Wise Leadership

When I started teaching in the 1970s, the job of school leadership seemed mostly concerned with preserving stability. Headship was about ‘running a tight ship’ and keeping people happy and harmonious in their jobs.

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Growing the Leader Within – Steve Russell

Growing the Leader Within – Steve Russell

Today’s Blog comes from Integrity Coaching Associate & Education for the Soul Conference Workshop Facilitator, Steve Russell.   So there I am, high-viz jacket on, walkie talkie in hand, walking the corridors on my first day as an interim senior leader of a bustling secondary school.   As I approach a group of students, several of whose uniforms need tidying up, an anxiety rises within me as I prepare to ask them to tuck shirts in and straighten ties. “Will they take the blindest bit of notice of me?’ is that nagging thought, rumbling underneath as I check my body posture and clear my throat.   Fast forward a couple of hours later and I’m sat across the table from a behaviour mentor about whose performance there are some concerns. I’ve been tasked with establishing whether these concerns are well-founded and, if so, put together an action plan in order to ‘move things on’. Within five minutes, I’ve heard how her dad is seriously ill and that this is why she isn’t effective as she usually is.   These two examples immediately spring to my mind when I think of the challenge of leadership. You will have your own. Perhaps it’s dealing with a parent whose behaviour you find challenging; or working with governors on a specific aspect of school development. The list is endless –and quite often contains the issues that keep you awake at night.   Essentially, the challenge is essentially around how do we carry ourselves with integrity when fulfilling the role of being in charge?  Going back to my two examples – I have previous experiences... LEARN MORE
The 5 Characteristics of Resilient School Leaders

The 5 Characteristics of Resilient School Leaders

Over the last few years, I’ve seen more and more School Leaders struggling with the emotional and psychological cost of being a School Leader today and I have seen many leave the profession as a result. We’re seeing how school leadership has increasingly become a high-risk role and the detrimental impact that this has on the emotional and mental health of leaders across the profession.

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My Guardian Article – Tips for Headteachers to help prevent Burnout

My Guardian Article – Tips for Headteachers to help prevent Burnout

I was recently asked to write an article for the Guardian to offer my advice to School Leaders about what can be done to tackle the causes of burn-out and reduce some of the stress of the role. Below are the tips that I shared with them… If you would like to comment or read my original article on the Guardian website, please click here.   The stress that headteachers are under continues to be reported – with the numbers leaving the profession a growing concern. For many, headship is a role that’s beginning to feel untenable.   This echoes what I often hear from headteachers in my role as school leadership coach. The headteachers I speak to feel overwhelmed by shrinking budgets, the teacher recruitment crisis and the high-pressure inspection system. So what steps can they take to prevent burnout?   1. Don’t ignore stress and anxiety In his book Leading from the Edge, ex primary head James Hilton recounts how he fooled himself into believing that all was well, even though his body was showing signs of stress through increasingly frequent back pains and migraines.   It’s easy to normalise symptoms of stress, which can also include problems sleeping, loss of appetite and mood swings. You tell yourself it’s part of the job. This is what I did when I was headteacher and I see many others doing the same thing. But these kinds of problems can be a physiological response to stress and anxiety, and should be taken seriously.   2. Build a support system   Leading organisational psychologists Arnold Bakker and Patrícia Costa argue in their research paper on chronic burnout for tailored... LEARN MORE
Why Education Needs Values & Integrity more than Ever – Neil Hawkes

Why Education Needs Values & Integrity more than Ever – Neil Hawkes

With many other people I am deeply concerned about the global turmoil that is destabilising our world. As someone I met recently in the US put it, ‘It seems as though human kind is going mad!” We seem to be acting like lemmings about to rush over a cliff to our deaths. At a political, cultural and social level distress is clearly identifiable as the good of humanity and the world is set aside.

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