If leaders were assigned a type of clothing most suited to our role in the current educational weather front, one could argue sou’westers might be the most apt. But it doesn’t have to stay like this.
The best school leaders try to protect children and staff from the inclement influences that are battering our windows, whilst we continue to appear bright, robust and able to do the job that needs doing. Leaders are bravely storm-facing. We are directly challenging and managing serious funding cuts, trying to adapt provision with less resources to support increased levels of poor mental health in children, families and in staff. We navigate the super powered-up external accountability and there is, of course, the rising expectation to tackle social mobility issues in less than a parliamentary term. Continue reading
A few weeks ago I was asked by someone what I think the biggest blind spot is in education. Being an academic my answer is not straightforward – though (being an academic) I still think I’m about to oversimplify a very complex problem.
My way into the blind spot I want to eventually discuss is to start with the problem that is so in our faces that it would be ridiculous to call it a blind spot. Continue reading
I was one of the 50. 50 Headteachers who met in London on Tuesday 14th November to deliver a letter to Phillip Hammond in advance of the budget. We represented 5000 colleagues from 25 counties across the country calling for cuts to school funding to be addressed in the Autumn Statement. Continue reading
When I was first a head, back in 2000, I had taken on a particularly challenging school and had a ‘consultancy team’ of 3 experienced heads working with me. They worked in the background coaching and advising me and, crucially, alerting me to ‘what will happen next’. The improvements we made to the school were massive and my induction into headship was absolutely amazingly good – I was constantly participating in discussions with very experienced heads focussing directly on what was required at my school. I think I must have gained around 10 years of experience in my first year. Continue reading
That the Department for Education recently held a summit on flexible working suggests that they may finally be acknowledging that recruitment and retention is an issue. Of course, nothing the DfE recommends will actually happen in schools unless headteachers make it happen. So, one more thing to place at our feet. Continue reading