Treat the Grown Ups Like Grown Ups

Yesterday I put out a tweet about why people fall out of love with teaching being nothing to do with the actual teaching part of the job. It seems to have struck a nerve in what became a quite disheartening thread about the reasons people have left teaching. It filled with stories of how they …

Leadership, A Little Less Distilled

Following this tweet https://twitter.com/secretHT1/status/1352892060798513154 I’ve fleshed out some of my thoughts on the most important aspects of leadership. 1) Put Your Ego to One Side Yes, we’re in charge of something. Yes, we’ve been given a place of responsibility, but don’t let it get to ours head. There’s still a lot we don’t know about …

Dear Mr Williamson, further to my previous letter.

Dear Mr Williamson, It has been a while since I last wrote to you. In a number of ways many things have changed. We have welcomed back almost all pupils and greeted them with smiles, warm hearts, cheeriness and sensitivity as they have returned to school this term, no doubt anxious about what it would …

No – It’s Not Just You

This half term has been tough. The swing of moods from the highs of having the children back to the energy sapping routines. The mental drain of having to overthink everything. Be in no doubt, this has been the hardest half term of my career. My energy levels have been so low and I’ve found …

Governance – the best CPD you can get

Governors – the unseen being that hovers over a school setting. The mystical people that come in after hours and make decisions that affect teachers day to day workload. That group that gets the reports and sits and takes everyone to task. Nothing could be further from the truth, in my experience anyway. Meetings are …

Dear Mr Williamson

Let me begin by saying that the last 6 months has been an undoubtedly difficult time. What has occurred has not been seen in 100 years and difficult decisions have had to be made – life changing decisions, unenviable decisions and often impossible decisions. I understand that and very few people would want to be …

Why Do I Trust?

We see a lot of values in schools now. This will always be high on my personal list. It is so powerful and can be an absolute game-changer in so many ways. I’ve already written a blog on how to build trust as a leader, but this will dig a little deeper into why it …

Why Do I Rest?

This one is all about why I feel the need to strike the right work life balance. I am no good to anyone if I’m burned out, exhausted and stressed out. I’m ratty, shorter with people and my family end up bearing the brunt of it. This is the one I particularly feel guilty about. …

Catch Up, Not Patch Up

So much out there about catch up at the moment, and rightly so. Some children have missed everything, some have missed a lot and some have missed most of what they should have covered over the second half of this year. We’ve been asked to prioritise catch up in Reading and Maths and Phonics and …

Leadership in Lockdown

So, the confirmation that the government intend for schools to re-open to more pupils on Monday seemed like an apt time to write this blog. I’ve been reflecting a lot recently about life during lockdown, and how so many of things I have done have been completely alien. The old saying ‘you couldn’t make it …

Guidance On Schools Opening on 1st June

Last updated 25 May 2020 Information for Schools We are asking schools to re-open their doors and welcome back children in nursery, Year R, 1 and 6 from the 1st June 2020. Before moving onto practicalities, let us first thank each and everyone of you for all you have done so far. By making provision …

Leading From the Back

Lead by example! Show the way! Be the figurehead! All very plausible and worthwhile I’m sure but is it always the best way forward? There are times when, as a leader, you need to be front and centre and be making the critical decisions but equally, and maybe more often, front and centre is precisely …

A Guide to School Finance

We always hear about how schools are underfunded and that cuts have to be made. Twitter abounds with the tales of experienced, upper pay scale teachers finding themselves unemployable due to the fact they simply cost too much. Adverts have started to appear asking for applicants that are just M1 – 3. Decisions may be …

We Must Not Go Back to Normal

It seems a common thread amongst the media, friends and online interactions is related to some of the things that we can’t wait to do when we ‘get back to normal’. Going back to normal would be the worst thing we could do. We should not return to the state we were in before this …

Ask a Headteacher Anything – Part 2

Twitter could ask me anything – and they did! Here are all of the questions I was asked, and my answers. Who do you turn to when you don’t know what to do? I’m fortunate, I have a supportive wife, a great deputy, a cluster group and great governors, so I go to them. Perspective …

When the going gets tough, the tough…feel pretty awful.

This week was a tough week. Nothing major, and people, I’m sure, are dealing with much worse. Just a multitude of little things all piling up at once…governor meetings to prep for, lots of staff absence, few niggles here and there, safeguarding and social care issues, a high level of cover needed from me. Coupled …

Just What Do You Do All Day?

After being posed the question ‘Some headteachers just sit in their office all day, don’t teach and never come out, what do you do all day?’ I thought I’d walk you through my day, just to give a little glimpse of life as headteacher. Arrived at school at 8am. Caught up with the teacher I …

Building Trust as a Leader

For me this is the most important part of leadership. If you don’t get trust and buy in from your team you aren’t going to achieve much. I’ve written in the past about the fact that people will never be completely satisified with what you can deliver. I know for a fact that I had …

How do you know if you’re ready for leadership?

Is there an age limit on when we are ready for leadership positions? Are there factors that mean we are ready or not ready? Do we need a set number of years experience before we put ourselves forward? The flight controllers at NASA that put Apollo 11 on the moon had an average age of …

10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Became A Head

1. You are responsible for more than you could ever imagine. The list is never-ending. My neck is on the line for things I never even knew existed. I am still surprised by things that come at me that I am responsible for even three years on. It’s a constant whirlwind. Most of them won’t …

Ask a Headteacher Anything

This morning I asked people on Twitter to ask me anything they had every wanted to ask a headteacher. There were some really challenging questions, and I have really reflected on myself and some of the things I do and why. Below are all the questions and my responses in one place, feel free to …