Coaching & Leadership Development
Why we Need to Talk about School Leader Well-being

Why we Need to Talk about School Leader Well-being

  The last few years have seen schools place a growing emphasis on pupil well-being.   This has in part been due to increasing numbers of teachers and school leaders beginning to recognise that investing in the well-being of our pupils can help secure a positive return on their attainment and, in turn, school performance.   This has been supported by numerous studies – not least by Public Health England in a 2014 report, which found that “pupils with better emotional well-being at age seven had a value-added key stage 2 score 2.46 points higher (equivalent to more than one term’s progress) than pupils with poorer emotional well-being”.   Meanwhile, successfully attaining GCSEs (five or more A*-C) was shown to be strongly correlated with higher levels of life satisfaction amongst young people.   However, whilst the findings of such reports have been widely accepted by schools, I can’t help but wonder why the fundamentals of well-being are so rarely considered when it comes to those who are responsible for leading our schools.   To put it another way, why has the duty of care that we show towards our children not been extended as comprehensively as it should be towards our school leaders?   After all, we all have emotional and psychological needs in our role. We all have the need to feel safe and secure, the need for friendship and a sense of belonging, the need for what is physiologically necessary (e.g. sleep, food, water etc.) and a need to feel valued. It is only when these basic needs are met that we are more able to perform at our best.  ...
How to Devise a Winning School Vision

How to Devise a Winning School Vision

  I remember it very clearly, the day that I came to understand the importance of knowing how to devise a winning school vision. It was the first time in my teaching career I had put on a suit. As I walked across the school playground, Ricky, one of the boys in my Year 2 class shouted across to me, “Where are you going Miss Grant? You look like you’re going on a date!”   Well, I was going on a date, but not the kind of date that Ricky had in mind. I had been shortlisted for the post of Deputy Head at the school and now I was walking across the playground to the building opposite where the interviews were taking place.   My heart in my mouth, I sat before the panel of six as they asked me why I thought I was the best candidate for the job. I answered each of the questions as best as I could. I had spent ages preparing and although nervous, felt confident in my responses.   However, when they asked me what was my vision for the school, something inside of me changed. The nervousness disappeared and was replaced with a passion from deep inside of me. I knew what this school could be, I knew what this school could achieve for the children and their families, I knew that with faith and courage we could buck the trend of urban underachievement and be a shining beacon of hope for the local community.   I knew and felt this with every fibre of my being. I knew and...