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Words of Wisdom for new head??

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by weirside, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. weirside

    weirside New commenter

    I have done it! I begin my first headship in September.

    I am already planning what I need to do etc.

    I would appreciate any words of wisdom or warnings such as don't forget to... :0)

  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    I've never done it - but have watched with interest!

    Get to know your staff. Not just names but interests, skills, family, what makes them tick. And not just teachers - the cleaners and other staff too. Their support and loyalty will depend on you: and you will depend on them.

    Find ways of getting to know the pupils. Heads mostly don't do much teaching: it's worth arranging that you do some, or get involved in some way with the teaching and learning.

    Make it very clear what you stand for: the keynote messages you give to the first staff meeting, SLT, assembly, will be remembered.

    And I think all managers in schools tend to get driven back into their offices by having so much to do. Understood: but the old adage that the best fertiliser is the farmer's foot, that he needs to step into every field, applies equally in schools.

    Hope this helps - I suppose it's obvious?
  3. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    When asked "What are you going to change?" or "Are you going to change anything?", respond with "What do you want me to change?" or "What do you think needs changing?".
  4. Good advice above. It depends really where the school is currently in terms of performance. If all is well then spend the first couple of terms learning how the school works. Set out your stall by all means, but don't bulldoze your ideas in at the first staff meetings. Better to talk about your values instead of 'I think we need to do X'. A good exercise I've done a coupe of times is to get staff to take 3 photos of the school 'as is it or as they perceive it to be' and bring these to your first staff meeting. It's amazing how these tell you a lot about the school and how the staff feel about things when you put them all up on the wall and ask the staff the describe the school's 'core purpose'.

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