Coaching & Leadership Development
Why Headteachers Need Different Support to Teachers

Why Headteachers Need Different Support to Teachers

    Everyone can use support in their careers. But what many people don’t realise is that the further you progress in your career, the more support you need. Many assume that once you climb to the Head teacher post that; – Either support is no longer required or, – You require a similar level of support to that received in previous posts   However, nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is, the role of Head teacher is markedly different from any other teaching or leadership post that you might have held; strategically and operationally, mentally and emotionally. It is for these reasons that Heads need support that is bespoke and tailored to meet the specific personal and professional challenges of the role.   When you are a Head there are a myriad of challenges that you will face; challenges that require you to receive support that is different from your teachers and others that you lead and manage…   1. Isolation   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...

How FREE NEU Coaching can Benefit New Headteachers

  Stepping into a new school leadership role can be one of the most exciting — and challenging — things you’ll ever do. The more you can make the role your own, the smoother this transition is likely to be, so if you’re feeling daunted at the thought of stepping into someone else’s shoes, here are a few tips that will enable the transition to feel that much easier. 1. Remain connected to your values   Your values are going to be your rock throughout your Headship. They’re what drives your vision, passion and purpose and they’re where your leadership behaviours stem from. People are going to be looking for consistency from you in this new role, and that’s something you just can’t fake — it only comes from being very clear on what your values are, and actively living them day by day. What’s more, when you’re in crisis (and I know sometimes Headship can feel like one big, years-long crisis!), your values will keep you steady, sane, and committed to the fulfillment of your vision. 2. Get clarity about your professional vision   Similarly, you need to get some real clarity around your vision, not only for your school and your career, but for your life as a whole. The only way that you will ever get people to follow you is if you can get them to buy into your vision, so think about it carefully. What do you really want for your school?  A good way to answer this question, is to imagine what a child might say when they come to the end of...
Every School Leader needs to remember this when Goal-Setting!

Every School Leader needs to remember this when Goal-Setting!

    Setting goals with teachers at the start of every academic term can be a very productive process. However, as simple as the process might seem, it is very often executed poorly. As a result, many individuals fall short of the goals that either they or others have set for them.   When goals are set properly they enable individuals to:   – Achieve a greater sense of direction:When we know where we are heading we are far less likely to be knocked off course and even when we are, we know the path that will take us back to where we want to get to.   – Identify where to focus their time and energy:  Clear goals give us clarity of thought and with greater clarity, comes greater wisdom as to how one’s time is best used in pursuit of clear goals. We are better able to master our thoughts and become less prone to dispersed and erratic behaviour that are not in service of our roles and responsibilities.   – Feel secure: When we are working towards clearly defined and meaningful goals they give us a sense that even with the ups and downs, all will eventually be well. This added sense of security is part of what helps us to get up and keep moving forward, despite the frequent falls and knockbacks.   So how can you effectively use goal-setting within your own school context?     Help Individuals connect Goals with their Purpose & Values   From my own experience, individuals who feel that they have played a key role in setting their own goals...
How can Headteachers Support the Wellbeing of their Staff?

How can Headteachers Support the Wellbeing of their Staff?

      Mental Health and well-being in our schools are hot topics at the moment and for good reason! Too many teachers and school leaders have left and continue to leave the profession because the system has given short shrift to taking care of the person in the role.   It is my belief that if we are to preserve the personhood of our teachers, then alongside strategies for reducing workload etc, they must also be supported and empowered to take control of their own responses to stress.   This blog outlines four key habits that Head teachers can encourage their staff to adopt to enable them to take greater responsibility for their own well-being. The premise from which I am starting is that well-being is about having a healthy and courageous relationship with self. It is concerned with doing the inner work that brings integrity and authenticity to the outer work of being human.   Most teachers know that the best teaching happens when they are alive to their subject, fully present for the children in their class, and when they have a deep resonance and respect both for their craft and the children that they teach. That’s when the magic happens!   How teachers maintain their vocational vitality is fundamental to their well-being. It is about care of the inner self; the world of thoughts, feelings and emotions. If teachers are to protect their well-being, they must be supported to develop the habits that will sustain them for the long haul.   There are four key habits that I believe, with a bit of support, Heads...
Why Headteachers need Nurturing Relationships

Why Headteachers need Nurturing Relationships

This blog comes from Integrity Coaching Associate, transactional analysis expert and Headteacher Nurture Meal facilitator, Giles Barrow.     About five years ago I became acutely aware of the troubles presented by the head teachers I worked with. It was an especially bad time in terms of education policy. The Con-Dem coalition was in power and Micheal Gove was in his ascendancy at the DfE. The shift in policy reflected a fundamental move toward a very different understanding of not just what schools should be doing, but also radically changing how they should go about their work.   This was the time of mass academisation, free-school proliferation and the withdrawal of initiatives such as Every Child Matters and the national strategies. There was also a move in Ofsted to a much more data-reliant approach in determining judgements and head teachers across the country dreaded the wait until Wednesday lunchtime at which point the inspectors would have notified them of an intention to visit that week.   I have been working with Headteachers for over twenty years now. I am familiar with the term-by-term cycles of school life and the stresses and strains that invariably ebb and flow from year-to-year. But during this recent past, I was not only aware of a dramatic shift in stress amongst school leaders, but I was also feeling close to being overwhelmed myself in the face of such anxiety across the dozen or so schools that I was working with.   I began to notice a sense of impotence – not knowing quite what to do, or how to help these colleagues. I became increasingly aware that I...