Coaching & Leadership Development
Keeping school leaders
hope alive today, for
our children’s hope of a
better tomorrow.
Why Headteachers Need to Take off their Leadership Mask

Why Headteachers Need to Take off their Leadership Mask

  Masks are worn to conceal the true identity of the wearer. In theatre and ceremony, they are explicit in both their form and function; in leadership, not so.   The mask that many School Leaders wear is far more subtle. It isn’t made of clay, paper or wood. It doesn’t have elaborate patterns or features painted across it. Instead it is invisible and rather than hiding the face – it hides your inner world of thoughts, feelings and emotions.   It is understandable as to why this is so. The mask acts as a defensive mechanism. It serves to keep us safe from situations or others that we perceive may cause us harm. However, left unchecked, our masks can sometimes cause us more harm than good and these are the times when we need to learn how to take them off and ask for help.   The Head Teacher’s Stage   It was in the 1960’s that the German psychologist Ervin Goffman equated human behaviour to that of living out one’s life on stage. His theory proposed that for all of our interactions we are trying to manage the response that we get from our audience.   The degree of intimacy and trust that exists between the performer and their audience will influence the performer’s stage performance.   Depending on the relationship, the performer will adapt their performance for each and every situation to try and win a favourable response from those who are observing.   Goffman proposes that the acts, the routines and the feedback that the performer receives are all part of how an individual develops... LEARN MORE
Why Leaders need to Invest time in Themselves

Why Leaders need to Invest time in Themselves

Time is something that we all value. Yet in the life of a school leader, as precious as it is, you seem to have very little of it. Or to put it another way, you appear to have a lot of time to give to other people, but very little to be able to give back to yourself! With half-term just around the corner, I want to encourage you to take some time out for yourself and to use that time to think deeply on the qualities that you wish to further develop in yourself as a leader.

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How to Devise a Winning School Vision

How to Devise a Winning School Vision

Stepping into a new school leadership role can be one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do – but it can also be one of the most challenging and the first few weeks can feel daunting as you adapt to the demands of life as a school leader. To help you manage the transition and help make this time a little less overwhelming, I’ve decided to put together 5 key tips for all those who are embarking on a new school leadership role.

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What is the Secret to Great School Leadership?

What is the Secret to Great School Leadership?

There is all kinds of advice out there about what makes a good school leader, from certifications to strategies to taking the latest seminar. But what so many people miss out on what is actually the most fundamental elements of great school leadership – hope. You would not have reached where you are now if you didn’t know how to harness the power of hope. Hope not only in yourself, but also hope in the sincerity of your vision and the future that you are seeking to create for the children in your school. All school leaders need hope. Not just a spoonful of it – bags of it!

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What every Headteacher needs to know about Overcoming Stress

What every Headteacher needs to know about Overcoming Stress

It is my belief that more Headteachers would remain in the profession if, on appointment, it was made explicit to them the link between school improvement and their own personal development. Unfortunately, however, in today’s world of high public scrutiny and personal accountability, they are not and as a result far too many Heads become victims of stress and burn out, unable to cope with the intense psychological and emotional demands of the role.

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Our School Leaders Need Your Support!

Our School Leaders Need Your Support!

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.

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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 circle. Stay abreast of organisational system change and dynamics and their impact (for better or worse) on both staff and pupil outcomes

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Are you Growing as a School Leader?

Are you Growing as a School Leader?

Headteachers like yourself centre all their efforts and struggles around striving to grow and building their schools into successful and celebrated institutions. 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 schools figurehead and supporting your school’s growth, the much deeper and complex area for consideration is; whether you are leading yourself in ways that are fulfilling and growing yourself!

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8 Ways of Thinking that can Hamper Your Performance

8 Ways of Thinking that can Hamper Your Performance

Our thoughts influence how we feel and our feelings affect how we behave. It is only when we are listened to empathically that we are able to unpick how one affects the other. We make links between feelings and thoughts all the time in our daily lives. As a school leader, you do this constantly and probably do not realise the impact that the inter-relationship has on your levels of confidence and performance in the role.

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How to make Christmas special at your School

How to make Christmas special at your School

I am the proud Headteacher of Parklands Primary School. We are situated in the middle of one of Europe’s largest council estates. We are the most deprived Primary school in Leeds with 82% Pupil Premium Children ….. but what does that mean? No hope? No aspirations? Poor exam results? A poor Ofsted report? On the contrary…. 82% Pupil Premium means we have to get it right for these children; we have to inspire, we have to sell the dream, we have to love, respect and make sure every child is valued, listened to and believed in….. and at Parklands we do just this.

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The 3 Key Lessons of “Education for the Soul” 2017

The 3 Key Lessons of “Education for the Soul” 2017

As a coach, I trust myself to be able to create the type of 1:1 spaces where it is safe for the soul to be seen.
Spaces where School Leaders can come out from behind their leadership masks and explore what it means to live lives of authenticity and integrity, amidst the challenges and complexities of day to day school life. However, in hosting the ‘Education for the Soul’ Conference, I faced a new challenge.

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