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Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by coco44, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. coco44

    coco44 New commenter

    Thank you digory venn. It is really difficult to rebuild your confidence after having faced such criticism - you have to be incredibly resilient and have positive people around you elsewhere in your life that remind you of why you went into this job in the first place. Without knowing your exact issue, it is hard to comment - however what I will say is that when I started my new headship it was incredibly difficult to get my governors on board as they had a very fixed mindset and didn't really have an accurate view of how the school was performing. I went for external validation of my views so my governors had to listen - I got a SIP and the LA on the case and got them in to conduct an external review.... and faced a lot of criticism from them for it as we had just had an OFSTED. However, once the external reviewers endorsed my evaluation of the school, the governors had to take a step back and listen. And the ones that were in denial or didn't like it, resigned and I lost a couple of staff along the way too. But that's what happens when you start working at a school as a head who wants to drive things forward. Your governors appointed you and so have to support you, and if they won't, they you do what you have to do to make the school a better place for the pupils.... and that can be very tough! And lonely! That is why this forum is so good as it makes that top job feel just a little less lonely at times....

    I don't know if that helps? Let me know if you have any other questions

    Coco x
  2. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Thank you so much coco.
    My situation seems very similar to yours. Governors with very fixed ideas about how they want the school to be run. They also have an inaccurate view of school performance. I had to work really hard to improve results and we had an ofsted not long after I had started. A couple of governors have resigned and some members of staff are thinking about it.
    I think my inexperience is very obvious and the governors and some members of staff are resorting to making personal and hurtful comments about me.
    It is much tougher than I realised and I need to develop more resilience. I think I need to remind staff and govs that we must put the children first and that we must always drive things forward.

    Thank you; I am beginning to put the situation in perspective. I need to remember that I am not the only one to be in this situation or to have gone through these problems.
  3. coco44

    coco44 New commenter

    No, you aren't the first and unfortunately you won't be the last, however that doesn't make the situation any less scary though! Being a new head is tough huh?! I think that as heads we place so much importance on our career (we have to!) that sometimes we can measure our own self worth on how well we are doing professionally. I know I have. Don't let these obstacles affect your morale though. Stay focussed on your vision, let your moral compass guide you and your decisions and stay true to yourself in all your decisions. In the early days you will spend time "fire fighting" and it can distract you on the overall goal, but try not to lose sight of it. Utilise the support that is out there too.... this forum, your union, the Local Authority, other local heads (have you been allocated a mentor?) HR etc.....

    Feel free to private message me if you want to talk more about "specifics"

    Coco x
  4. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    I didn't look at the date of your first post until your update-it's so nice to read a happy ending!

    Do you still have contact with your old school where your head made your DH role so difficult? What's the school like now and did you ever find out what that was all about!?
  5. Saf114

    Saf114 New commenter

    What an inspiring story, Coco, thank you for sharing, and more importantly, thank you for coming back with an update.
    It seems that as harrowing as your journey was, it has made you a better Headteacher, although many good potential Headteachers are deterred or destroyed by situations such as yours, which is a serious loss to the profession.
    However, you give hope to those who are going/have been through similar experiences, because it is people like you that both staff and students need in the profession.
    Thanks again, and I am very pleased for you x
  6. chipper115

    chipper115 New commenter

    Great questions @NQT1986
    I'd like to hear what happened to the AHT.

    My experience teaches me that facing adversity in the form of shabby leadership can have a positive impact on the type of leader one becomes.

    Thanks for posting the update; heaven knows there too few good news stories on here.
  7. coco44

    coco44 New commenter

    Dear All

    Yes, it was an incredibly harrowing journey, and life as a head hasn't been easy either (it really IS such a challenging job) but my integrity and moral purpose are intact.... and after what I have been through I guess no-one could have blamed me for throwing the towel in. But I have always believed to put the children first and do what's right, and as long as I know that's at the forefront of everything I do, I know I am on the right track and will continue (despite what curve balls are thrown at me!)

    I have v minimal contact with the schools I used to work in, and so I don't know what happened to the "characters" I once faced. There was a time when I felt compelled to "check in" on the websites and gauge the situation of the schools and individuals involved. However, I realised that it was wasted energy, and my focus is moving forward, not looking back. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my past experiences and have learnt the lessons I needed to, and taken that learning forward with me, and I now no longer feel the need to have any interest in those schools, or those individuals anymore. My current school is my sole focus now, and making sure I do right by those children.

    I am really glad that I have given hope to those out there that are struggling. Those of us who have been in circumstances like these can be forgiven for leaving the profession, but I think if we can stick it out, and lead our own schools with integrity, we may in some way ensure that we protect others from experiencing the same fate. Maybe that is optimistic, but in a job like ours, sometimes optimism (along with courage and passion) is what is needed to get us through to tomorrow!

    Thanks for your kind words and ongoing support. Keep going, you are all doing amazing things and are making such a difference to the pupils you work so hard to support.

    Coco x

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