There can be no doubt that many Head teachers lead their Learning communities with integrity, care, compassion and high expectations.
This is evident on an hourly basis in any school and education setting daily. Whilst expectations of our Head teachers, from Government departments are growing exponentially, the care, support and integrity with which Head teachers are often treated is sadly lacking.
Head teachers daily model compassion and concern for others. They deliver high degrees of challenge and expectation and achieve results based on the trust which they inspire in others. Yet there has been a stark contrast between the professional tone setting at school level with the rhetoric of education policy makers.
The tone has become increasingly autocratic and divisive. As such, there is now a desperate need to for a more compassionate approach to strategies for supporting the recruitment and retention of our Head teachers. Corporate executives have space for “lessons learned” and continuous improvement between projects. Head teachers need something similar.
To understand what this should look like, first we need to consider the support needs of Head teachers that the system is currently overlooking.
Developing an accurate understanding of the support needs of Head Teachers
Whether Heads are new in post or are well established and long serving, too often the predominate type of support that they receive is that which is concerned with meeting the strategic and operational aspects of the role. Their emotional needs are often neglected, and this is where support fails, because there are no clear systems and structures through which this can be achieved.
Many a Head, will tell you, that they often sacrifice the meeting of their own needs to meet the needs of those they serve. This level of constant giving, without moments built into their leadership life to replenish often leads to illness and for some burn out.
If Head teachers are to fulfil their ambitions for themselves, their schools, families and communities, then they need support that helps them to reflect on their strengths and areas for development in more holistic way. So that they are able to model positive and effective behaviours, inspire them in others and remain connected to their initial vision, passion and purpose.
The NEU’s commitment to support both leaders of today and tomorrow
The NEU recognises the pivotal role that healthy, committed, values–centred leaders play in protecting our childrens’ futures and creating a society that is equal and fair for all. Which is why they are now partnering with Integrity Coaching for the third year running to make an incredible coaching offer for their Head teacher members.
The NEU is now offering extensive free coaching support (provided by Integrity Coaching) to their Head teacher members as a personal and professional development opportunity. With the current funding crisis in our schools, this is a real blessing for many Heads who might not otherwise be able to access the support they need.
This offer was first run as a pilot in 2016-2017 by the NUT. The feedback from the pilot scheme and last year’s cohort was overwhelmingly positive and emphasised to the NEU the crucial role that coaching plays in supporting leaders.
What do Heads on the programme receive?
As part of this programme, NEU Heads will be offered…
– A Half day introductory group session: Three course meal, breakfast, lunch and overnight accommodation, if required
– Face to face support: Six, 2-hour coaching sessions across the duration of the school year
– Telephone Support: Three coaching telephone support calls
– A Half day closing group session: Three course meal, breakfast, lunch and overnight accommodation
Benefits of Coaching Support
This programme is designed to support Head teachers in several key ways….
– Enable Head teacher members to stay deeply connected to their original core passion, purpose and reason for being in the profession
– Provide an alternative and person-centered approach to the support of head teachers
– Increase Head’s ability to deal with the stresses and demands of their roles, so that they can maintain their ability to lead and inspire others
Register Your Interest
If you are an NEU Head teacher member and you’d like to apply to be a recipient of this great opportunity to receive free Coaching Support from Integrity Coaching, you can now register your interest in being part of the 2019 cohort. To express your interest, simply complete the form below.
Alternatively, if you’d like to find out more about the programme, what’s involved and whether it could support you in your role, simply follow the link below…