Coaching & Leadership Development
Keeping school leaders
hope alive today, for
our children’s hope of a
better tomorrow.
3 Gifts School Leaders Need this Christmas

3 Gifts School Leaders Need this Christmas

Although it’s a long time ago now, I remember vividly what it felt like being a school leader at this time of year, after the longest term, when the days are shortest and the summer sun seems so far off. As well as fatigue, which affected everyone, I suffered from a kind of ‘over-immersion’, as if I’d been under water for too long and was starved of oxygen. In this ‘glazed’ and unreal state, I would decide to put off such things as difficult conversations and creative challenges, if I could do so safely, until I was clearer in the New Year Like being caught in a thicket, I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. If I encountered negativity, I would find myself more likely to react negatively and compound the problem. Then it felt as if everyone around me was getting agitated.

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Why School Leader Well-being must be taken Seriously

Why School Leader Well-being must be taken Seriously

In the last few years, the teaching profession has made great strides when it comes to wellbeing. The rise of feedback instead of marking has undoubtedly had a dramatic impact on teacher workload in schools that have adopted it. Likewise, the accepted practice of centralised detentions has ensured teachers don’t spend their every free moment setting and chasing detentions. But truly, one of the most significant changes has been Ofsted pushing teacher wellbeing to the top of its agenda, suggesting that as a profession we are at least trying to do something to address it. Granted, it is still nowhere near close to perfect, but I certainly think it has improved in the last few years. However, despite these improvements, I don’t think that the wellbeing of a school’s senior leadership team has been properly considered. Now, I appreciate that there may be many people out there who are unsympathetic to the idea of senior leadership workload.

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See the Light! – The Power of Story

See the Light! – The Power of Story

Storytelling has an immense value in its own right – not just as a means of developing language skills or improving literacy. If we think of stories as merely a means to an end, we undervalue their true power and significance. And just because a story isn’t true doesn’t mean it lacks truth. I never ever say, ‘Well it’s JUST a story.’ It’s MORE than a story! The stories we tell each other have the power to change our lives. But what about the stories we sometimes tell to ourselves? Like the one about not having this or that skill; about not being up to the task ahead; about being good at this but not at that; about being this or that kind of person – stories that can leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

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The Inner Work of a School Leader

The Inner Work of a School Leader

Contained within the wisdom traditions of North America’s First Nation people are many teachings that relate directly to leadership. A central teaching is that of the Twin Trail. Like so many other threads of wisdom emerging from indigenous peoples, the Twin Trail reflects a deep understanding of our human psychology. The Twin Trail refers to the inner life; that we all must attend to if we are to lead ourselves (and others) with integrity, authenticity and purpose. It also speaks to our capacity as humans to make moral choices. In a challenging encounter that I had with my First Nation mentors in 1998, the Twin Trail was described to me in this manner

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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.

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Why Even the Best Mentor is no Replacement for a Coach

Why Even the Best Mentor is no Replacement for a Coach

When you step into the Head teacher role, it is quite common for you to be offered a Mentor. An individual who has been there before, who can show you the ropes and who will share their wisdom, knowledge and experience with you. But… a Mentor is different from a Coach. A lot of people think that they do pretty much the same thing, but actually, a coach takes care of crucial support needs that a mentor simply isn’t trained for. Even the best school leadership mentor can’t replace the support you can get from a coach — and here’s why: You’re not your role; you’re a person in a role. Mentoring is fantastic for developing yourself in the context of your role. It’s largely focused on the external things, like developing your skills for operations, navigating your first governor’s meeting, preparing your reports. But it doesn’t focus on the inner growth that’s necessary to really step into your new role and make it your own. At best, it’s a fantastic way to learn strategies and skills.

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An Open Letter to Boris Johnson

An Open Letter to Boris Johnson

Dear Boris Johnson, I am writing to you with a plea at a time when your mind may well be on other matters but my plea is quite simple; please begin to listen to those in education who are on the front line. Our head teachers and school leaders who every day give their all as they seek to create better futures for our children. I write this letter to you as a former head teacher, who has been in the profession for over twenty five years. Although I left headship over thirteen years ago, I am now in schools nearly every day, providing coaching support for passionate school leaders.

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How to Rebuild Your Leadership Confidence

How to Rebuild Your Leadership Confidence

It’s an understatement to say that life as a school leader can be bruising. The impact of the responses of disgruntled staff, a poor OFSTED report, complaints from parents or conflict with governors can send even the most resilient of leaders into a downward mental spiral. When negative events occur, your confidence can take at hit. You can begin to feel as though you are not up to the job for which you have been appointed. From my own experience working with school leaders, nothing can be further from the truth. Many, if not all, are still up to the role. It’s simply that they need to be reminded of their own power within and steps they can take to feel like their former, confident selves again. If you are feeling at a bit of a low ebb now, because of events that you are facing as school leader, set a few minutes aside to read this short blog. See if you can identify at least one step that you can take to rebuild your leadership confidence again.

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4 Major Types of Educational Leadership

4 Major Types of Educational Leadership

There are four major styles of leadership which apply well in the educational setting. While each of these styles has its good points, there is a wide berth of variation, and in fact, transformational leadership is truly an amalgamation of the best attributes of the other three. So let’s explore how servant leadership, transactional leadership, and emotional leadership compare to transformational leadership… Kamagra jelly from Kama pharmacy worked for me in 2 hours and lasted until 16 hours. It is better to take it half an hour before lunch, it will digest before you go to dinner and will not mix with food for better results.

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3 Things every Headteacher must Learn

3 Things every Headteacher must Learn

I have witnessed many a Headteacher brim with pride on appointment to their post; whether it be a first headship, second or third, there is always a sense of something great having been achieved. This pride often stems from an acknowledgment of the personal journey many have travelled to arrive at that place. It also stems from a hope and optimism about what they can achieve for the children and young people they have chosen to serve. Something that I have also witnessed is how ill-prepared our system is for properly equipping Heads, with the skills and knowledge for understanding the personal growth process that accompanies Headship. Scant attention is given to the psychological and emotional terrain that all will have to cross in order to successfully navigate the many challenges of the role.

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What I learned at “Education for the Soul” 2018

What I learned at “Education for the Soul” 2018

On 19th October 2018, we held our second “Education for the Soul” Conference. The theme for this year’s conference was, “Creating new narratives for the school leader’s journey”. Perhaps not your everyday common theme for a school leader’s conference, but if there is one thing we are certain about at Integrity, it’s that we are not going to follow the standard, traditional format for our conferences. And so it was for this year’s conference, that we chose to further support school leaders by enabling them to consider the role their stories play in their lives as educators.

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“Education for the Soul” 2017  – Conference Report

“Education for the Soul” 2017 – Conference Report

On the 19th October 2017, Head teachers & School Leaders from across the country joined us for our Inaugural “Education for the Soul” Conference. Our purpose was to provide a different type of school leadership conference; one that would provide a space for school leaders to explore new and sustainable ways of leading that would enable them to overcome the stresses of their roles and maintain their ability to lead and inspire others. Unlike other School Leadership conferences, the day aimed to provide a unique opportunity and space for… Reflection – Where leaders could be themselves and reflect with like-minded colleagues on the aspects of school leadership that mattered most to them. Learning – Where leaders could deepen their personal knowledge and gain a better understanding of how wellbeing contributes to personal performance and school outcomes. Creativity – Where leaders could explore solutions, practical ideas and suggestions for bringing their visions to life. Collegiality – Where leaders could laugh, share and have time to talk with others about how to achieve the very best for themselves and those they lead and manage

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