Senior leadership



Taking a step back from burn-out...

Burn-out is not inevitable. As a school leader, how do you take care of yourself? Frances Robertson urges you to avoid burn-out by making time to reflect and step back from the chaos...


Meaningless words? How to build a genuine school ethos

Building a school ethos can so easily become an exercise in jargon and meaningless words. James Handscombe says that it is not until your ethos gets in the way of a hard decision that you know if you really believe in what you’re saying…


No going back: Choosing the right MAT for your school

Once your school has joined a multi-academy trust there is rarely any going back. As such, we must choose the right MAT for our ethos and community. Paul K Ainsworth offers some advice to primary heads and governors when taking this important decision


Leadership: Certainty in uncertain times

A new academic year dawns and we continue to live with the uncertainty of the pandemic. Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers us some simple ideas for leading with certainty in uncertain times





The First 100 Days: School leadership lessons from football

Headteacher Phil Denton has spent the last 30 months talking to Premier League managers about the lessons that school leaders – and teachers – can draw from the high-pressure, unforgiving world of football management, especially when it comes to handling the first 100 days in post...


Senior Mental Health Lead: How to have an impact

If you are new to the role of mental health lead, or you would like to make sure that your role really makes a difference next year, Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers a few simple ideas to help you to maximise your impact



Effective SEND provision: Four key leadership roles

SEND provision in a school is everyone’s responsibility, including senior leaders and governors. Professor Adam Boddison outlines four key areas where effective leadership is crucial for effective SEND provision



No Silver Bullets: Day-in, day-out school improvement

School improvement is not about silver bullets. Rather it is about making small incremental gains day-in, day-out. A new book is offering 89 such gains to help focus the mind. Author Paul K Ainsworth dissects four of them here…



Assurance: It’s not sexy, but it’s important

From boilers to putrefied rat remains, from magic buckets to burglar alarms – assurance is not well understood in education and the consequences can be catastrophic. MAT chief executive Mark Wilson explains


Building back better: Teaching, pedagogy and learning

Some schools have already begun changing and adapting their in-school teaching practices in light of their experiences during remote education. Dr Fiona Aubrey-Smith asks how your school is already 'building back better'


PFI: Challenging overly expensive contracts

As an academy trust CEO, Andrew Chubb successfully challenged aspects of his school’s PFI contract, leading to substantial savings. He looks here at why PFI often proves unfairly expensive for schools – and what can be done about it


Wellbeing at Christmas: Time to focus on you

This Christmas holiday may be the first time that many teachers and school leaders have chance to take a breath and step back from the chaos and stress of Covid-19. Sophie Howells says that now is the time to prioritise your wellbeing – and offers some ideas


How to collect staff feedback on workload and wellbeing

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, it is important to check in on your staff to see how remote learning and Covid restrictions are affecting their workload and wellbeing. Katherine Fowler shares some practical tips on how to talk to your staff and gather feedback, so that you can help ...


The revised Headteachers' Standards: An overview

The Headteachers’ Standards have recently been updated. National Leader of Education Helen Frostick reflects on the revisions and how the standards apply to leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic




School improvement: The patchwork quilt approach?

Best practice cannot become a patchwork quilt – stitched together from ideas, approaches and interventions seen elsewhere. We must always remember that context matters above all else, says Jonathan Cordiner

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