The perils of system leadership: why good schools need to be seen as good enough …

I sympathise with the head whose own school rating from Ofsted slips from outstanding to good leadership and management while he or she is busy looking the other way.  (TES 27th March 2015) But why should anyone be surprised?  Should Ofsted fudge its less than outstanding judgement, in consideration of the fact that a headteacher …

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Teacher5aday: bucking the trend

I’m not a teacher but I do believe education and a love of learning are the most precious and sustaining gifts we can give to children, and through them, to society. One way we excite that love of learning is by making everything associated with learning less like a punishment and more like a joy; that includes changing the current culture in schools where teachers feel guilty when they are not driving themselves like Roman galley slaves, to one where they acknowledge the long-term benefits of paying attention to their own health and wellbeing – and act on that knowledge.  Hooray for @MartynReah and his #teacher5aday initiative.

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The Idea of Wellbeing: messages from healthcare to education

I’ve been listening to this year’s Reith Lectures by Dr Atul Gawandi.  He’s a very engaging speaker and his fourth lecture, The Idea of Wellbeing,  struck me as containing messages for leaders, and particularly leaders in schools.

Gawandi’s grandfather inherited the family farm and all its debt when the monsoon rains didn’t come and the harvest failed.  Bread and salt were all his grandparents had to live on.  They were starving to death.

‘But he prayed, he stayed at the plough, and his prayers were answered’

Whether you are a person of prayer or not, having faith and staying at the plough, are essential in leadership.  You need faith in others: that they will fulfil the potential you have seen in them, and you need the determination to ‘stay at the plough’ even when the ground is uneven.

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