Values, not rules

Values-conscious schools have seen improved behaviour, increased confidence and capacity, and better spiritual, moral social and cultural education.  These underpin effective learning and higher standards.

back to school The sun is streaming in the window at the back of the hall.  The school staff are smiling,  suntanned and relaxed,  bearing witness to the long days of summer sun.  What a different energy from the one I felt in this room 3 short months ago.  We are here to look forward to the coming year, determined to hang on to all that is special about this school, in the face of the challenges and opportunities of a new school year which includes the start of a 2-year re-build and whatever new initiatives Mr Gove identifies next.  For me, this is the culmination of 9 months’ work supporting this school to re-define its values.

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Larry Montagu

As I round the corner into the cathedral grounds at ten to 12 it’s obvious that something significant is scheduled. Outside, men in dark suits stand talking in groups, shepherded by officials. From College Street a stream of people flows towards the cathedral, many dressed in green and gold blazers, drawn as iron filings to a magnet. The magnet is Larry Montagu.

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Supporting emotional resilience

bright idea‘Bother’, I thought; ‘I can’t see how to open this to check the fuse.’ The 4-way adapter had died. The on-light was not illuminated, so I wanted to open it and check the internal fuse. No time at the moment. I left it 2 days. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t mend itself. ‘ A trip to Argos’, then, I thought, mildly irritated. Then, ‘Hang on’, I said to myself; ‘what about changing the fuse in the plug?’ Hey presto! It worked and I have to confess I felt rather smug at having saved myself time and money by replacing the fuse in the plug (time 2 seconds; money: approx. 10p) rather than walking (happily, I can) to Argos (time 15 minutes; money about £15.00).

That got me thinking. How often do we as leaders miss the obvious cost-effective solution? This week I’ve been looking again at my research on emotional resilience for school leadership. Why emotional resilience? Because managing our emotions is ultimately what allows us to continue without being overwhelmed.

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The challenge of power: collide or collude?

power and authorityIt’s almost impossible not to be aware of the questions being asked by the media at the moment concerning the behaviour of Jimmy Savile. We wonder why those in a position to do so didn’t challenge him. I am reminded again of the issue of the interaction of power and responsibility. There are many manifestations of power: it may come from celebrity status; physical strength; force of personality; authority associated with leadership. Power is a gift from those who accord it to us; we should use it wisely and judiciously for their benefit.

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