Coaching & Leadership Development
Are you Growing as a School Leader?

Are you Growing as a School Leader?

  It’s easy to understand why, if you are a Head teacher, that the majority of your time and energy is invested in growing and building your school. Without your hard work, dedication and most importantly leadership, success would be a hard thing for your school to come by.   However, although you may be fulfilling your role as the school’s leader and supporting its growth, there is another equally important development area that many Heads neglect. Indeed, it is because this area is often overlooked that many find themselves feeling disillusioned, frustrated and very often burnt out! To stop this phenomenon, Heads must give attention to their own personal growth and development.   School leadership is as much about personal growth as it is about organisational growth and development. On this journey there may be many a time when as a head teacher, you may feel that you are running to stand still!   Events around you may seem to spiral out of your control, accompanied by an internal dissonance, that leaves you with no ready anchor point to bring you back to place of inner equilibrium. In these moments exhaustion can take over and the journey forward can seem more and more of an uphill climb. You may begin to feel:   – Self-doubt, questioning your own judgement and actions. – Worried about aspects of your life that may not have troubled you in the past – Anxiety when faced with new and more complex array of challenges – Loss of control when everything seems to spiral and pressure mounts.   To make matters worse, when you consider voicing your concerns, you...
Our School Leaders Need Your Support!

Our School Leaders Need Your Support!

“Loneliness is proof that your innate search for connection is intact” Martha Beck   Like all top leadership positions, school leadership and headship in particular brings with it the type of power that isolates: positional power. The higher up you are in an organisation, the more your positional power means that you not only have increased pressures and responsibilities, it also means an increased distancing in relationships.   Learning how to balance the need for human connection, with the need to maintain the integrity of the leadership role, is a challenge many school leaders face. Individuals have to decide where their personal and professional boundaries lie and the degree to which they will give of themselves.   When you are ‘lower down’ the school hierarchy it is much easier to build relationships with those who are like you and to share problems with those who will have had similar experiences.   To begin with there are more of you. If, for example, you are a class teacher in a primary school or a head of house in a secondary school, there will be others that hold the same position who you can turn to for support. However, as you climb, the number of individuals that hold the same or similar post diminishes until, finally, you reach the top – head teacher – and look around to find that there is no one in your setting who holds the same position as you.   In learning to cope with the isolation brought about by positional power, leaders have to learn how to develop new relationships with themselves. Once the boundaries...
The 4 Things that Happen when you make Time for Yourself

The 4 Things that Happen when you make Time for Yourself

  As you already know, being the head teacher of a school is tough. It’s often hard to find balance and be a well-rounded human being when you’re always the one that is giving. Many a time, it can feel as though if you’re not physically seen to be helping and solving problems, then others will wonder what on earth it is that you are doing with your time!   With the ever-increasing pressures and demands that are made upon school leaders, it is hardly surprising that sometimes your head can feel so full of other people’s voices, concerns and worries that it can feel impossible to think straight. The pressures of life as a Head teacher can sometimes mean that it can be incredibly difficult to carve out the necessary time that you need to be alone; time that will enable you to focus, think, plan strategically and further develop the necessary plans for moving your school forward.   As a result, you are often faced with what you perceive to be conflicting choices; spending time with yourself or spending time with others. Usually, it is the pressure to meet others’ needs, wants and demands that wins.   But .. it doesn’t have to be this way   Numerous leadership authors and researchers have highlighted the fact that it is those individuals who take time out for themselves, that not only perform better but also function better as figureheads for their organisations. As when you stop and take essential time out for yourself you allow four key things to happen:   1. You stop operating on auto-pilot.While it...
How to Survive as the Head of a Multi-Academy Trust

How to Survive as the Head of a Multi-Academy Trust

  Being the Head of a Mutli-Academy Trust (MAT) is a role that still feels new to many and as a result many Exec Heads and CEO’s are still struggling to understand what the role is really asking of them. However, we do know a few things for sure. We know that increasingly, in these roles leaders are having to find ways to:   – Cope with increased levels of ambiguity and organisational uncertainty as they steer individuals, teams and schools towards a shared vision – Broaden their networks within and outside of traditional educational circles – Stay abreast of organisational system change and dynamics and their impact (for better or worse) on both staff and pupil outcomes   For many, this has meant working at the very edge of their comfort zone. It is a ‘brave, new world’ which they are now in and for which new navigational tools are needed if they are to survive.   Developing new navigational tools for surviving leadership of a MAT   If you are an Exec Head or the CEO of a MAT, you will have experienced the emotional and psychological intensity that occurs when seeking to bring about change across organisations and through different layers of personnel.   Therefore it hopefully won’t come as a surprise to you, when I say that the new navigational tools that you require to survive as the leader of a MAT, are slightly different from traditional organisational leadership and management tools.   No doubt, you will have already have been on courses that have provided you with information on how to manage the new...