Senior leadership

Women in leadership: Smashing the glass ceiling

Despite teaching being female dominated, men remain twice as likely to hold leadership positions. Headteacher Erika Eisele considers why this is and reflects on her own experiences as a school leader



Five lessons of primary leadership

After 10 years as a headteacher in east London, Tom Panagiotopoulos has written a book chronicling his experiences. We asked him to give us five lessons for successful primary school leadership


SONAR leadership and a pedagogy of connection

School leaders should ‘seek first to understand, then to be understood’ if they are to build relationships – and that requires active listening. John Dabell explains the principles of SONAR leadership


A culture of ethical leadership: Five approaches

As we emerge from the pandemic, ethical leadership has never been more important. But what does it look like? Primary school head Jim Mepham looks at five main approaches and the principles of ethical decision-making



Designing whole-school CPD: Three streams, one cycle

With so many high-quality materials available to schools, the challenge these days is not the what of CPD, but the how. Applying recent EEF research into the mechanisms of effective CPD, Robbie Burns advises on designing a whole-school CPD cycle


Teacher appraisal: Professional development reviews

Teacher appraisal forms part of established practice in maintained schools and the majority of academies. Brian Rossiter shares practical advice when reviewing performance with colleagues as part of a professional development cycle as we move into a post-Covid world


Staff wellbeing: Which talking therapy is best for you?

As a school leader, do you talk about the pressures you face? Talking helps wellbeing and prevents burn-out. Emily Kenneally considers how you can make time to talk and outlines different types of talking therapy and their uses




School governors: A culture of no surprises

Ahead of the inaugural National School Governors’ Awareness Day, Steve Barker suggests ways in which this volunteer army can work more closely with school leaders to create a culture of ‘no surprises’




School culture & values: An unwritten ethos

Do you use your school’s values? Or are they positive-sounding aphorisms which are rarely dusted off in the heat of battle? Bill Holledge considers how we create and use school values and discusses the Paradigm Trust’s ‘Unwritten Ethos’




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...

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Headteacher Update is a magazine, website, podcast and regular ebulletin dedicated to the primary school leadership team. We tackle a wide range of leadership issues, offering best practice, case studies and in-depth information, advice and guidance. Headteacher Update magazine is distributed free to approximately 20,000 primary school headteachers.

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