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Showing posts from January, 2017

Some reflections on what works in school leadership

The following are some of my reflections for school leaders already in post, and those aspiring to such roles, on some of the strategies and approaches that I feel help produce the best results for you, your learners and the schools you lead. They are a reflection from my eighteen years as a headteacher, or principal, and are some of the key insights I have gained in that time. The list is not exhaustive and it is personal to myself and my contexts. But, I offer it in the hope it may help some, and stimulate debate or thinking for others.

Prioritise people and relationships: It is very easy to get sucked into focusing too much of your time on systems and structures, when in fact it is the people you lead and collaborate with who will make the difference. You can have the greatest systems and structures in place, but if you don't have the right people, or you neglect the people you have, these count for little. It is your teaching and support staff, pupils and parents,  who make the…

Case for the defence

My last post was about some of the significant aspects of my role I feel guilty about, as I approach the end of my career in schools. This one has a more positive message, as I consider some of the aspects I feel most satisfied with from my career as a teacher and a school leader. As I indicated in the last post, 'Guilty M'lud', there have been many highlights and lots that I am proud of. Many of these are to do with particular children, parents, members of staff and colleagues, but this is about the big wins I feel I have experienced during my career.

From my last post, you will know I have made mistakes, some of which I feel more guilty about than others. What I will say is that I have tried to learn from all my mistakes, both as a teacher and as a school leader. I have always been willing to admit my mistakes to those most affected, and apologise when necessary. Of course, what I consider to be a mistake, may not be considered so by others, and vice versa. Mistakes tend…

Guilty M'lud

As many of you know, this is my last term as a Headteacher. Rather like the end of a school year, it has got me looking back retrospectively, not just over one year, but over my career as a teacher and a school leader. There is no doubt that there is much to be proud of and thankful for and I will leave my time in schools with many fantastic memories of all that we have achieved together, and the difference we have made, often in the most challenging of circumstances. I use 'we' because I know I have been fortunate to work with some fabulous teachers and colleagues. I have always believed that you see how great people are when you are faced with immense challenge, not when things are running smoothly and there is a flow to everything you are engaged in. However, like most teachers and school leaders, my mind is also occupied with the failures, the things that I feel guilty about failing to achieve. Because you haven't achieved everything you would like, there always remain…