I’ve had better times. As I make and near some important decision making I’m taking some time to reflect about what the last two years and two terms in senior leadership has taught me. The first was the subject of a workshop given during the recent Geographical Association Conference in Manchester and involves primary and secondary classrooms. The slides can be viewed above, and what follows is a brief overview of the context, my thinking and some practical examples.
As a leader (heavily involved in Pupil Premium students within a mainstream secondary school that serves a wonderful yet very diverse local community) I have come to believe, amongst other things, the following:
- Schools should be operating at a 0-18 age scale and follow and support their alumni through to their first job. Transition isn’t good enough and too many students fall by the wayside. The important thing is the education and learning of young people in a community, not who has the hardest job.
- The most important phase of education for developing lifelong habits is primary.
- It’s about high quality teaching every single day, in every single year group that is vital. In the wide majority of cases, it’s not about bolt on intervention but getting the mundane right and making it memorable.
- Teachers are the agents of change, in particular middle leaders have the pivotal role.
- Leadership is fundamentally different at different scales of operation, from personal to institutional, but values are the same.