Welcome back! I hope you had a break over half term and allowed yourself time to recharge. Having stamina and resilience are essential to being effective as a school leader, but this only comes from allowing yourself time to recuperate. An Education Policy Institute report published last month looked to a range of data sources to assess the impact of headteachers on school performance in England. Their findings, somewhat reassuringly, find a number of areas where variation in a school’s performance can be explained by the choice of headteacher, also that a headteacher’s effectiveness increases with the time they spend, not just as a headteacher, but more significantly as the headteacher at a particular school.
I have seen first-hand on many occasions how school leaders can be game changers in improving the quality of education in a school. With a continuing school leadership recruitment challenge, and at times a seemingly adversarial relationship with national education policy decision making, this recognition of the impact that headteachers have is welcome. By emphasising the link between longevity and impact, this research suggests that it is not the ‘hero turn around Head’ who fixes up a school before quickly moving on to the next challenge, that has the most long-term impact but the Head who sticks it out and builds a culture of trust and embedded high expectations.
There are times during the school year when sticking it out become harder than others and at these times it is important to recognise both the unique impact that you can have as a school leader and the need to invest in yourself and your own development. We are pleased that so many Camden headteachers have taken up the opportunity for coaching that has been offered to all Camden schools this year. If you haven’t already this offer, is still open to you.
It was great to hear expertise and ambition being shared this morning while exploring the next stages for our education strategy, and there are more opportunities to meet and share with colleagues in the coming month. Our Secondary Headteachers meeting is on the 15 November, followed by Primary Heads meeting and a Special School Heads meeting on the 23 November. I look forward to seeing you there.
Chief Executive Officer, Camden Learning