Part 2 of 2 from a guest piece from @_TheTeachr. Read this here.
When I came back to the UK, I found what I still believe to be a big issue. Schools have their purpose handed to them on a plate or in an OFSTED report. Get these kids a grade C or above, get them value-added points, get them the English Baccalaureate, etc. And you’ll be measured in how good you are at doing this. And you’ll be put in a league table which will determine the success of your school and therefore, ultimately funding.
What happens in this scenario is that you get a big focus on results and people who are good at getting results to become leaders at the middle and upper-middle levels. These are sometimes individuals who’s people skills are ranked a long way behind their ability to find clever ways to squeeze in more English and Maths intervention into the week. Or potentially good leaders are buried in so much crap that they don’t have the time or training or even energy to stand up, take a deep breath and look around. They all too often spend their lives trying not to drown.
How many middle or senior leaders in schools know even one of their school aims? How many know where to find them? I bet someone spent time developing them, back in the day and they have just been sitting there on a document somewhere. Not many people probably even care about them. And I bet if you said that putting on loads of maths intervention lessons in place of P.E. and PSHCE was not in line with the school aims, you’d get at best, laughed at.How many middle or senior leaders in schools know even one of their school aims? How many know where to find them? I bet someone spent time developing them, back in the day and they have just been sitting there on a document somewhere. Click To Tweet
I would argue that developing big-picture thinking, distilling it into aims will give the fundamental framework to help you, as a leader, with developing a meaningful vision. And that would help to give you purpose and focus your mind on what’s right for your students. And you can, with confidence engage the staff in your school to move in the right direction. If you get that right, you’ll be putting the horse squarely back in front of the cart and good things will follow.
Even that amazing OFSTED report.