Hitting the Ground Running as a Senior Leader!

Jasmin Choudhury

Friday, 31 August 2018

If you are a senior leader either taking up a headship, deputy headship or assistant headship, you will be starting to think about September already and what you need to do.

In July, results and outcomes will have been released for Reception, Y1 Phonics, KS1 and KS2.

By the end of August, GCSE, A’ Levels and BTEC results will be out signalling the schools success for that academic year. Moreover, analyses on unvalidated data will have been already completed by middle and other senior leaders.

School improvement continues whether you are in a good school or an outstanding school. It becomes even more relevant if you happen to be working in a school which is in concern either because it is in special measures or requiring improvement.

As a senior leader, you have to hit the ground running! Whether you are a head teacher, deputy head, vice principal or an assistant head - your influence and the way you behave as a leader can shape and influence the ethos and vision of the school community for years to come.

"Good and effective leaders will make it their goal and develop people who guide, support and ensure that the school continues to move forward successfully well into the future."

Strong, compassionate and integrity led leaders who challenge for the right reason fairly and justly can create lasting legacies and sustain stability and excellence long after they have gone. They understand the importance of effective change and succession planning.

While the headteacher or the principal is the lead person whereby the buck stops with them, great leadership in schools and organizations is no longer about the one person.

Actually, it never was just about the headteacher or the principal or the executive headteacher. It is about the team.

Leadership is based on the principal of primus inter pares”; A Latin phrase meaning first among equals”.

It is based on the idea that everyone is equal but ultimately it is usually one main person who takes the final decision.

"Great leaders will always collaborate, discuss, share and generate ideas – but they will have the final say."

They will ensure there is shared accountability but will also hold strong when things go wrong. If you are taking up your first senior leadership position, be excited but with the necessary precautions needed for any significant post!

Know that you have been appointed for your very credentials. The headteacher, governors and in some cases, local authority personnel wanted you and put you through some of the most thorough and rigorous recruitment processes.

In order to succeed in getting the post, you would have had to do presentations (sometimes with only 10 minutes’ notice), be observed teaching, watch teachers being observed and then be observed giving feedback, have breakfast with staff and lunch with the children and have several sets of interviews with relevant stakeholders throughout the day!

All of this usually happens over one to two days and is intense and exhausting! The tough prep work ensures that you are definitely ready for the job.

Watch out for my next blog piece exploring all the top tips you need in order to make an impact and leave a good impression!



About our Community Expert


Jasmin Choudhury
Community Expert

Jasmin has extensive experience of working in a variety of settings which have included being recruited to work schools in special measures and concern as well as outstanding.

Jasmin has been qualified as a teacher for over 20 years and has been a Deputy Head, working mainly in some of the most deprived and challenging schools in the UK.


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