Coaching & Leadership Development
Are Your Needs as a School Leader Being Met?

Are Your Needs as a School Leader Being Met?

  When you are in the service of others it is all too easy to put the needs of others before yourself. As a school leader, you’re expected to model compassion, empathy and concern for others on a daily basis. You deliver high degrees of challenge and achieve results based on the trust that you inspire.   However, you know whether you are new in post, or well established and long serving, too often the type of support that you receive is concerned solely with meeting the strategic and operational needs of your role. Your emotional needs are often neglected and this is where support fails. The omission of such support encourages you to sacrifice the meeting of your own needs to meet the needs of those you serve.   This level of giving without moments built into your leadership life to replenish, often lead to illness and for some burn out. To prevent this damaging phenomenon, school leaders need to be supported to engage with their role in a new way; a way that supports the prioritisation of self-awareness, self- management and self-compassion.   Supporting new ways to engage with you role   We all have basic human emotional needs [ see the Table below] although the degree to which we require these needs to be met varies greatly. Our individual identities are dependent on our parenting and life experiences, and how both have shaped our sense of self. One person may need autonomy to feel in control, another may need approval and support from other people.   It can help to reflect on the degree to which you...
My Open Letter to Amanda Spielman

My Open Letter to Amanda Spielman

Dear Amanda,   Since taking up your post as the new Head of Ofsted, you have made it known that you, “want everyone to see us (Ofsted) as a force for improvement.”   I am sure you know that it is ‘how’ you do this that will determine whether opinions are changed and Ofsted is fully embraced by all in the teaching profession as a ‘force for improvement.’   From my own perspective, as a former Head and one who frequently observes the emotional aftermath of Ofsted inspections, these are just a few points that you might like to consider as you seek to change the way in which Ofsted is perceived.   – Take the fear out of Ofsted inspections: Children don’t thrive in cultures of fear. Therefore, it is ludicrous to expect our teachers and school leaders to thrive in a climate where an Ofsted inspection is the equivalent to having the sword of Damocles hanging over your head.   – Value the context as well as the data: Far too little value is placed on the unique contexts for different schools. Most head teachers know in intimate detail the intricacies of the families and communities they serve. This information provides the framework around which they build their school improvement strategies. Ofsted needs to acknowledge this more when schools are inspected.   – Find a way to inspire the profession: I have yet to come across a school that has felt inspired after an Ofsted inspection. The reality is that many are left tired, exhausted and simply relived that the whole process is over. Just imagine the...