Coaching & Leadership Development
What Headteachers should be told before they’re appointed!

What Headteachers should be told before they’re appointed!

  Recently, I’ve been pondering one question: How do Headteachers find the time and space to develop the aptitudes necessary to show up as their true authentic and best self, when they are in a profession that requires;   – A deeply forensic approach to the analysis of pupil outcomes – Lightning quick responses to demands of all kinds and, – Consistently high levels of visibility   The answer I most often hear in response to this question, is:   ‘There quite simply isn’t enough time to focus on me. I spend all of my time and more [i.e. evenings and weekends] focusing on school improvement, because that’s what I’m here to do – to focus on the children and teachers, not me.”   When I hear this response, I find myself thinking, that sounds just like me when I was a Head. When I was told only one side of the School Leadership Story.   It’s all about the job description, or is it?   Before I was appointed to my first post as a Headteacher around seventeen years ago, I read and believed that I fully understood the Job description and person spec. I wrote an application form that demonstrated my leadership skills, knowledge and experience.   I performed so well at interview [despite being eight and a half months pregnant], that I convinced the panel, I could do what the job was asking of me on paper and take the school out of Special Measures…   And therein lies the rub. Did you fall for it too? Did you mistakenly believe that when you applied for the Head...
What happens when Headteachers drop the Leadership Mask?

What happens when Headteachers drop the Leadership Mask?

If you are head teacher, then I am sure, this image will speak volumes to you! You know exactly what it takes each and every day to step into the role of Head teacher and enter a system that so often forgets that you are human. A system, which despite all the well-intentioned rhetoric, expects you to constantly withstand the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’. And, no matter how fast and furious they might be, requires that you always come out victorious, with an ever-present smile on your face.   However, I am sure you know as a Head, many a time life just isn’t like that. Those slings and arrows, whether from a colleague, an inspector, a parent or a Governor, can hurt. They can pierce the soul and leave you feeling utterly down-spirited and disheartened.   It is because of this fact and working closely as we do, with Head teachers, that we decided to host our termly Headteacher’s Nurture Meals. We wanted to do something, that clearly said to Head teachers,    ‘You are of value; you are of worth and you have the right to have your needs met’   We are always very clear in our purpose. This was designed not to be one of those Head teacher gathering where individuals met with their peers, but still felt the need to be to wear their leadership mask or suit of armour, for fear of being judged or criticised for anything that they might say. We wanted to make sure this was different.   Different…. But how? Well … we create a loose framework for discussion, but in the...
3 Great School Leadership Reads

3 Great School Leadership Reads

1. Mental Health and Wellbeing in The Learning and Teaching Environment Edited by Colin R. Martin, Mick P. Fleming and Hugh Smith                                                                                       This paradigm-shifting book draws on expertise from key opinion leaders within the academic research fields of education and mental health. The book considers the relationship between mental health and education in an evidence-based and practice-focused way. It is the first book of its kind to examine the complex problems associated with today’s high-stress, high-emotion learning and teaching environments which affects both learners and leaders of learning alike.It is an important and timely text that offers new hope in tackling the alarming mental health crisis in our schools and colleges. The book bears witness to the fact that with a growing number of students struggling with mental health problems and with schools full of pupils with a wide diversity of abilities, behaviours, needs and diagnosable conditions, teaching and school leadership have become some of the most challenging and stressful jobs imaginable. Crucially, the text also highlights the serious impact which the behaviour of pupils, teacher and school leaders can have on each other. We now understand that relationships in schools are fundamental to intellectual and behavioural growth for pupils and that many significant mental health problems of adults have their origins in childhood. In light of this, it is vital that those in education have all the tools and support necessary...